Too Rude for a nice Southern Town Like Greensboro


A letter to the Editor on June 25,2007, in the News and Record seemed a bit extreme about the July 4th celebration in downtown Greensboro. I agree that a good time can be had without beer, but I'm not offended by those who choose to consume it in moderation. Many family places, such as our own city parks, don't allow alcoholic beverages. Yea, I know, that ban is not enforced very well.

I am ashamed at the rude comments about the writer and about her letter. Is this the way we discuss public drinking in Greensboro? Were the responders drunk and obnoxious as some drinkers are? What are we thinking? Did the responders have a drink to give them courage before berating this woman?

I am more concerned with the city-promoted Get Downtown Event for area college students shortly after the beginning of the fall semester each year. The event invites students downtown for alcoholic drinks and entertainment and even offers them free rides home. It is a real money-maker for area bars. Extra police are required and extra clean-up is necessary after the event.

With so much concern about college students abusing alcohol and some of the stupid stunts they pull while intoxicated, having an event like this seems irresponsible. The whole rite of passage thing associated with alcohol is partially caused by the restriction of sales of alcohol to minors.

How do the statistics look? Is there more or less alcohol abuse in countries where wine and beer are consumed from an early age? I really don't know the facts. But I do know that depending on how one feels about drinking will determine how one interprets the numbers.

Has Anything Changed?

This is from a post on my blog in August, 2005.
And the beat goes on! ! ! !

This morning I sat through a Greensboro City Council Briefing Session that lasted almost 4 hours. The Council did make a few decisions, but most of the meeting was wasted with presentations that didn't include much information that the council members did not know already.

The council members discussed appointing alternates to the boards and commissions because there are so many absences at the meetings. They decided that the only board that needs alternate members is the Board of Adjustments. Because the findings made by the Board of Adjustments are final unless there is a legal appeal within 30 days of the ruling, the council felt that there should always be enough members present to make a ruling. The alternate members will be asked to attend every meeting, but will only be able to vote when replacing an absent member.

Representatives from Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc. gave their usual "We're doing a wonderful job" reports and estimates of how much the Center City Park will cost. DGI will get some money because of the extra tax the City Council passed last year on property owners in the Central Business District. Because the taxing authority (in this case, I guess it is DGI) gets a percentage of the taxes collected in their area from Guilford County Sales Tax revenue. I think that Ray Gibbs said that the extra money, which will be around $100,000, will be used for park maintenance. I think the city council agreed to spend $200,000 toward park maintenance. At last month's briefing, I thought the city agreed to pay up to $450,000 for park maintenance. Of course, nobody knows what the cost of the park will be and Action Greensboro asked for a five year trial period to figure out what will happen.

Adam Fischer from GDOT started to give an impressive presentation about why the city is adding those annoying medians on so many streets. The council members would have no part of that. They interupted so many times during the presentation that I'm not sure the presentation was ever completed. A lively discussion ended with GDOT winning, as usual, and very little accomplished.

After that, it was time for a presentation about proposed changes to the city's noise ordinance. By that time, several of the members had left and those who were still there were looking at their watches. There seemed to be lots of concern about how street noise could hurt the outside eating and drinking businesses on Elm Street. The biggest problem is that nobody knows how loud is too loud, and most don't understand noise/decibels?
The presentation was confusing and it was decided to bring it up later after the council had time to test noise by using a decibel meter. We were told that these meters cost around $3,000 each and that the city will probably purchase 5 as soon as possible and add more until every officer has one.

Water Improvement Pix

Some of these holes are deep enough for a man to stand up with only his head above ground level. Check out the first shot.

Water Improvements

My cat watches from the safety of my front porch as the noisy work continues to improve water service in the neighborhood.

Urban Garden Suggested

I am a member of the Cool Cities Group.
I received a copy of an e-mail with an idea about having an urban
garden at the cultural arts center nurished by water
collected in rain barrels.

Such a wonderful project would be a public
demonstration of Greensboro's commitment to practical
conservation efforts.

The following is a portion of the e-mail I received and is posted at this blog with the author's permission.

for a variety of reasons linking my research and my
life, I've hooked up a couple of rainbarrels at my
house so I can water my garden without having to use
city water--something important to do during a
drought. and it looks like our region will be or may
be drought prone, as predicted by global climate
models (due to global warming). I have watered my
vegetable garden and compost heap for the past month
without turning on the city taps.


two things: first, I saw on a commercial that our
university ag people were involved in research on
drought resistant crops. second, the other day I was
at the cultural arts center while my son was having a
sax lesson. It was lightly raining and it occurred to
me that a gutter and rainbarrel system would be very
easy to hook up to the center to capture all that roof
water (I can capture 500 pounds of water in about a
half an hour with a rain like we had last evening,
from one downspout making use of 20 feet of
gutter--multiply that by all the gutter feet capturing
all the rain on that huge roof and you can imagine the
efficiency and the savings). if you have been in the
center, you know how HUGE that roof is and how much
water it could capture and store. that water then
could be used to water an URBAN DEMONSTRATION GARDEN
that could easily be set up on the grounds
there--there's plenty of grassy area that could be
converted. the food grown could be donated to urban
ministries or something and NCAT STUDENTS could
monitor and run the project--this would be highly
worth doing even if the garden could not play any role
in the drought project: but it occurs to me that part
of the garden could be watered, part not watered as
part of the research on drought resistance, vegetables
could be produced and people could see the thing in
action, in the middle of the city (urban gardens etc).
Given the absolute necessity of going green, this
could be part of the promotional campaign and might be
hooked up to the COOL CITIES campaign in which many
of the country's mayors are participating.--I believe
A and T is playing some role currently in a project to
monitor our carbon consumption, a project which is I
think connected to the CC initiative.

what do you think?

Greg Meyerson
Critical Theory
Dept. of English

Election Sign

I miss the sign that used to stand in a yard on North Mendenhall Street in Greensboro at election time.

It was hand lettered and It read:


N&R denies citizen comment space

Update to last nights's post below:
OOPS! MY BAD! Apparently I double clicked to post my comment at The Inside Scoop and was only allowed to post it one time. Thank you N&R for allowing my comment to post. I was too quick to complain. I'll try to click on the submit button once lightly if I comment again. Sorry!

I tried to comment on the Inside Scoop post about the Canada Dry Property. I was denied the right to post a comment because I have posted too many comments in too short a time. What a way to engage the public in conversation.

My comment was about why the appraiser suggested that the best use of the property would be an addition to the Coliseum and that a hotel wouldn't work on the site.

"But the appraiser doesn't think a hotel would work there. He says the best use of the property is for it to become part of the Greensboro Coliseum or some sort of business - maybe a restaurant or a auto dealership."

Sounds like an old developer's threat that if you don't let me put what I want on the property something really bad could be built here, maybe a used car lot or a recycling center (junk yard) or even a drive-thru fast food place or adult video store. I wonder why this comment was made by an appraiser. Does the appraiser have any connection to the Koury Corp.? Would a new hotel be too close to the Koury Center?

Questions, questions.

Gboro business license fees won't be raised, TODAY.

At the Budget Session this morning the Greensboro City Council discussed the proposal to raise business license fees. They decided that it would not be a good idea at the present time. They will take the suggested increase off the table for the time being.

One commet made was that by putting this item first on the agenda and telling the audience that it will not increase business license fees, some of the many expected speakers will leave.

Apparently, business owners do not want their business license fees to increase and the City Council has heard them loud and clear.

As the old saying goes "The squeeky wheel gets the grease."

Of course, this doesn't mean that businesses will not pay more. Fees for business recycling services will be charged around $15 a month and repeated fire inspections to check on previous violations will increase.

After two inspections and warmings about fire hazard violations, and reasonable time alloted to bring the business up to code, there should be a fee for repeated inspections. Or maybe, just shut down the business. This could be a problem if the landlord is responsible for the infractions. Details, details, details.