Pricey Harrison to Speak Jan. 17

An invitation to hear Pricey Harrison speak about her first term as a NC legislator from Guilford County.

I would like to invite everyone to attend any or all of the Lunch with the League programs. These are held on the 3rd Tuesday, each month except May, June, July and December. The programs start at 12:15. For more information check out the Local League of Women Voters website

The next Lunch with the League, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, will be Tuesday, January 17, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene Street, Greensboro.

The public is invited (boys and girls). Admission is FREE.
For those who wish to eat, a wonderfully tasty lunch is available for only $8.00.

There is usually time before the program for talking with the speaker and a time for asking questions during the presentation.

Program for Jan. 17 is:
Pricey Harrison: A freshman legislator's view

January 17, 2006, 12:15 p.m.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
607 N. Greene Street, Greensboro
$8.00 (Reservations: 643-2131 or

Y'all Come!

GOOD Smells & BAD Smells

My home still has that great Christmas scent from the live spruce & other seasonal decorations. Ahh, the sweet smell of cinnamon and cloves and fresh fruit.

_______________________Other areas are not so sweet.

The RaleighN&O reports that hog waste treatments that have been developed over the past several years may be too expensive unless taxpayers are willing to bear some of the costs.

New technologies to dispose of hog waste in a more environmentally friendly way could cost up to 5 times more than the open-air lagoons used now. The state has provided a grant to study how to bring down the costs associated with the better hog waste disposal methods.

Environmentalist and hog industry spokespeople knew when this research began that better technology would cost more. The problems seem to be who will pay for the conversion and how economically feasible will it be for the industry and the state. And also, how badly do we want to protect the land and water that we all need to survive.

New Year's Resolution for Greensboro? ? ?

One new year's resolution that I would like to see the Greensboro City Council adopt is to promise to implement better options for solid waste disposal. Household trash, demolition and construction waste, municipal sewage and animal waste are all sources that can be used to produce energy. This approach deals with three problems facing our area:

-reducing the volume of trash going into landfills
-producing energy from local renewable sources
-providing jobs/improving the economy

I urge readers of this blog to contact Greensboro City Council representatives and ask what will be happening to Greensboro's household waste when the trash transfer station becomes operable. The answers that I have gotten are not acceptable.

**(Added Fri, Dec. 30)
**Guilford County residents inside and outside Greensboro would benefit from a local/regional cooperative effort to reduce the volume of trash going into dumps in our area and in all of North Carolina. I urge you to contact your local town council or county commissioners and ask them to join in a cooperative effort.
**Many rural areas in our state are considering allowing private companies to buy or rent space to build dumps for garbage from out-of-state. This is a temporary source of income for these areas, but could be potentially dangerous in years to come. Think about it.

A little Info on Energy from BioMass sources.

A little Info about renewable energy from The North Carolina Solar Center

NC Adding People

According to the US Census Bureau estimates released this week, North Carolina added 142,774 people from July 2004 to July 2005 making it one of the 10 fastest-growing states. NC tied with Texas and Georgia as the 5th fastest-growing state in population.

Right Thing! Wrong Reason?

The New Greensboro City Council made some good decisions last night. To deny the purchase of the Cedar Street property was a good decision. If the property meets RUCO standards, there is no good reason to harass the landlord or force him out of the area. When he decides that he can make more money by selling the land, than by keeping it and paying taxes and fines and repair costs, he will. Or maybe he will be the one to build better housing there. Who knows, but the city government just needs to make sure that the complex provides safe housing.

I liked the comments about landlords' rights. Bad tenants are responsible for lots of damage to rental property. Low rent property can't stay low rent if the owner has to spend more and more to repair damage done by irresponsible renters.
The problem of affordable housing for low income residents has many facets. Bad landlords is only one of them.

To postpone making a decision on the multi-family zoning and change to the FLUM on Freeman Mill Road was a good decision - Only because the council and citizens seemed confused by the situation. Actually, everybody there seemed confused. "Confuse and Conquer" seemed to be the tactic of the proponents of this change in the FLUM. The Council showed good judgment.

The decision to extend sewer service to the Pleasant Garden shopping center did not make the grade. I don't feel sorry for people who move out of the city so they will not have to pay city taxes and then complain that they have to drive into town to buy groceries. Most of them probably drive into town to work. Maybe they could shop here too. A few local celebrities show up at a City Council Meeting and look what happens. The council goo goos and melts.
I enjoyed a quote that a read recently in a column by Molly Ivins.

" would we know it was America if we didn't hear regularly from the nincompoop faction?"

BTW who belongs to that nincompoop faction?

Re-Zoning in Glenwood

I posted about this on December 2

Several council members went on a Glenwood tour sponsored by the Greensboro Housing Coalition. This tour concentrated more on bad housing than on the improvements that have been made to the area recently.

The unsafe housing should be repaired, but the best thing that could happen to the neighborhood (in my opinion) is to keep present low density zoning as the Greensboro Future Land Use Plan advises and to encourage people to buy houses in the area.

If the neighborhood continues to fray around the edges with the help of bad zoning and willy-nilly changes to the comprehensive plan, young couples and preservationist will not want to invest there. This is the worse thing that could happen.

Greensboro needs reasonably priced family housing near downtown. Glenwood offers a mix of housing styles and price ranges. The neighborhood deserves a chance to shine.

Greensboro City Council should not approve the re-zoning request on Freeman Mill Road or changes to the GFLUM in this area at this time. These requests are scheduled to be heard Tuesday, Dec. 20.

What do you think? rep. to be on radio tomorrow

Amanda Bowman of "Secure" will be a guest on the Dusty Dunn radio program tomorrow (Dec. 14). Not sure what time the segment will air.
The program is on 1070 am radio or can be heard live from your computer at
The Dusty Dunn show is on every morning from 7am to 10am. It is talk radio, local news, sports, weather, interesting guests and some colorful regulars and citizen callers.
See ya on the radio.

More on Safe Housing/Safe Streets

One of the suggestions that came up in the workshop on Safe Housing in Greensboro was to ask NC legislators to change the law that now sends all money received from fines to schools.

Fines from housing violations (and I don't know how much is actually collected) could be returned to the community to help with inspections and repairing and awareness programs, etc.

Another change in the present law could also make money from red-light cameras available to help make streets safer for pedestrians, bike, car and motor bike riders.

What do you think?

Cary, NC gets into Fertilizer

The Town of Cary has invested several million dollars in afertilizer
plant to process the town's sewage sludge into small pellets that they hope to eventually sell to a fertilizer blending company. Town officials call the plant a "biosolids dryer". They say that it will reduce the cost of disposing of sewage sludge, and maybe make a profit in a few years.
The pellets smell like wet moss. (that is what the article in the Raleigh N&O tells me, I haven't smelled any myself.)
Sounds like a good idea for the town.

What do you think?
I spent this morning in a workshop sponsored by the Greensboro Housing Coaliton.
The focus was on safe, affordable housing in Greensboro. There were charts and maps about how many building code violations were in certain parts of the city and large and small group discussions about what to do to improve some of the housing problems we have here.
This whole effort made me start to ask some questions about housing and neighborhoods. I wonder why some neighborhoods stay nice while others rapidly or slowly become undesirable areas. Why some neighborhood property values increase at a good rate and others don't.
I drove through several areas in different parts of Greensboro. What is the reason that houses of about the same size, style and age become so different over the years?

If we could figure out what helps people take pride in where they live and in the property they own or rent, maybe we could figure out what the community as a whole should do to help everyone in Greensboro feel proud that they live in a safe, healthy place and work to keep it that way.
Oh, well, dream on diane.

RE: It could only happen.....

I have lived in Greensboro for over 30 years, and I can't remember when the city sewer system and the city storm drains were adequate. I have witnessed the Lake Daniel area and the Latham Park area have regular sewage overflow and stormwater flooding as well as other areas of the city. Bad zoning decisions and development in some areas has made the problem worse. I remember when several apartment complexes flooded several times recently.
The City of Greensboro has been improving some of the many miles of sewers here. But, only under a mandate from the State of NC.

As far as not hearing much about the problem, I have mentioned the poor maintenance of city property in each of my 3 runs for a seat on Greensboro City Council. Our public transportation system is another disgrace that is finally getting some attention. I have been to so many meetings and talked to so many people about the bus system here that I can't even remember. (I'll blog more on that later.)
On several occasions I have talked to city council representatives about the sewer problem. During a radio broadcast several years ago I asked 2 members of the city council why the city could not find money to repair and maintain the sewer system. I even inquired about why some money from the general fund could not be transferred each year to go to repairing and maintaining the system. I was told that money was kept for emergencies.
This is not a new problem. It is just one of the many important things that our city council has failed to address while they spend endless hours on discussion about replacing carpet at the coliseum and putting unnecessary medians in the middle of streets and buying property for the ACC., and giving grants to non-accountable "non-profit groups", and a hundred other non-essential ways to spend taxpayer's money.

Secret Drug Research ???

Secret Drug Research ???

On Page A4, Dec. 3 edition of the N&R was this small headline: "Lawmakers propose secret drug agency to develop vaccines"
The acticle stated:
"The Proposed Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency would be exempt from long-standing open records and meetings laws that apply to most government departments, according to legislation approved Oct. 18 by the
Senate Health Committee

Didn't we try that approach in the early and mid 20th Century? Secret medical testing on mental patients, prison inmates, military personnel, and even some orphans was done on a routine basis. I hope this bill doesn't mean more of that.

The article contained a quote by Richard Burr, R-NC suggesting that the federal government should provide incentives and protections necessary to bring more and better drugs and vaccines to market faster. According to a
Press Release on Mr. Burr's website, the legislation was introduced by him.

If link above is not working. Try this:

I need more information on this.
What do you think?

Bad Zoning Decision

I wasn't able to attend the last City Council Briefing. I know that there was lots of stuff going on that I am interested in knowing more about. And I since haven't been able to read Sandy's blog (She usually has a good, honest review of the meetings) I don't really know what happened.

I did attend the last meeting of the Greensboro Zoning Commission. I was disappointed in the approval of an apartment complex on Freeman Mill Road. I drove to the site and can't understand how the Planning Department and the Zoning Commission could think that this project is a good idea. If the zoning decision is appealed, and it should be, it will be heard at the Dec. 20 meeting of the City Council.

I mentioned to John Hammer, who was at the meeting, that I thought the apartment complex was a bad idea. He asked me if I could think of a better use of the land. That is a legitimate question. I'm not sure how to answer it. Maybe a city park? At least, if it were a park, the area would be patrolled by Greensboro Police and some of the problems that opponents of the project see as bad for their neighborhood would be lessened. Even an office and/or retail complex would seem a better use of the land than the kind of apartment complex proposed at the meeting.

The proposed entrance to the complex will be a right-in, right out only on a blind curve on a busy road with a median. This invites U-turns in order to drive toward Downtown Greensboro. That alone seems to be a bad call for any kind of development with only one entrance/exit point. There will be one way in and out of a cul-de-sac type road which will be a private driveway, not a city maintained street. More problems??? A buffer area (because there is a stream on the property) and a fence on one side of the proposed apartments (I don't think that this is a requirement of the zoning) are suppose to isolate the complex from surrounding areas. A fence on one side??? What good does a fence on one side do???

I'm sure we will be hearing more about this project. I hope City Council Members will study this proposal well before they make a decision.

What do you think?

Blog withdrawal symptoms

I am having trouble with my old computer. I cannot read Sandy Carmany's blog. Each time I try to call it up, I get a few lines, then my curser just spins indefinitely or the whole system shuts down.
I have not been able to get to the N&R blogs for some time now. I think the trouble with theirs began when they updated and changed. At first I could read the blogs, but not the comments, then the blogs became hard to pull up.
Maybe Santa will be kind and bring me a new I-book. Ho Ho Ho. Like that's going to happen.