Enough Candidate Forums

I am excited that there will be lots of chances to meet and evaluate candidates for Greensboro City Council. I am always amazed and amused at the reasons we vote for a particular candidate. I hope the voters will be more informed and selective in their choices in 2007.

Some ways I recommend to find out more about candidates:

Radio 1070 AM (available at WGOS.net) will have candidate interviews almost every morning on the Dusty Dunn show. A chance to call-in or e-mail your suggested questions to potential City Council Members. Phone: 454-5024.

Mayoral Candidate Forum:
Chance to hear and ask questions of Yvonne Johnson and Milton Kern
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, in Downtown Greensboro
Greene Street between Battleground Ave. and Smith Street
Sponsored by League of Women Voters. (Program Free, lunch optional $8)

At-Large Candidate Forum (Pre-Primary}
7 p.m.
Greensboro College Family Center, 1115 West Market St.,
(Old YMCA Building at Tate and Friendly streets)
Sponsored by League of Women Voters

MONDAY, October 22:
At-Large Candidate Forum (Primary Survivors)
Greensboro Central Library
Sponsored by Greensboro Neighborhood Congress

District Candidates Forum (Primary Survivors)
7 p.m. Greensboro College Family Center
(Old YMCA Building at Tate and Friendly streets)
Sponsored by League of Women Voters
Bring your questions.

And, of course, read local blogs.


A Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 editorial in the News and Record Entitled Reckless Endangerment said:

"Part of the problem is a culture that still embraces alcohol abuse as a rite of passage. (In another eminently useless college ranking, the Princeton Review on Monday released the Top 10 'party' and 'stone-cold sober' schools.)

Another Part of the Problem is the practice of glamorizing alcohol use and encouraging college students to drink by encouraging them to attend events like the one planned in Downtown Greensboro on Sept. 8

"From 6-11pm, see free entertainment and sample food vendors, giveaway booths and two beer gardens selling Natty Greene’s and Budweiser beer.

From 7pm until 2am, downtown restaurants, bars and some retail shops will offer extended hours and special promotions for event attendees during Downtown After Dark.

Transportation is available through HEAT and GTA buses running as late as 3am and students of HEAT partner schools can ride for free using their student ID or a school issued HEAT fare card."

Our society cannot continue to send two messages to our young people by speaking out against alcohol use and also continuing to make big money from the consumers of this deadly drug. I am not advocating making alcohol illegal. We know that doesn't work. Just stop promoting it's use as the best way to have a good time. Can one enjoy a sporting event sober? Can one enjoy a musical event sober? Can we have a street festival without having several beer gardens promoting locally brewed beer? I think so. Greensboro can do better.

See earlier post against Encouraging Students to drink in Greensboro.

TALK TRASH to City Council Candidates

Does Greensboro/Guilford Couhty want to SAVE our garbage in huge mega dumps or USE it to generate energy ?

Does Greensboro, Guilford County and the State of North Carolina want to continue to destroy mountains, streams, and kill people and wildlife by using coal to generate energy in NC ?

Will Voters demand better options for trash disposal and energy production ?

Ask Candidates for Greensboro City Council if they want to continue to ship our household trash to a mega dump or if they want to use better, cleaner, enironmentally friendly ways to dispose of garbage.

I have written about this many times. To read more: click energy or trash talk under labels on the left side of my blog.

More Waste-to-Energy Options.

Check out this site for information about Geothermal Waste-to-Energy

Find questions and answers about Geothermal Bio Conversion.

This process was briefly investigated several years ago by the City of Greensboro. It was dismissed as being untested in real situations and still in the experimental stage. From the information that I have found lately, looks like progress has been made and this could be a viable option for our region. The amount of waste needed to make it a profitable or pay-for-itself option is in question for this area; but, I think it is worth exploring as another option to shipping Household Trash to a private dump in another county.

There are so many ways to dispose of trash without building huge dumps.



To read older posts click on: energy and trash talk under labels.

Provide Jobs, Water, Trash Disposal, Energy

If Greensboro/Guilford County had ordered a WTE Modular Plant when they closed the White Street Dump to household trash, there would have been no need to raise taxes. The manufacturer claims that they can have a plant up and running in less than 2 years and a module lasts about 75 years, with proper maintenance. Swedish technology created a system that can take care of waste disposal, create energy and clean water and pay off the initial investment in about 5 years and continue to operate for many years. What a deal.

Naanovo Energy, Inc. claims that its Waste to Energy (WTE) technology allows, each of their modules to cleanly combust one hundred eighty tons of municipal solid waste per day while it produces energy and clean water.

Please ask every candidate for Greensboro City Council if he/she is in favor of the high cost to our environment and our pocketbooks of shipping our garbage out of the area on large gas-guzzling trucks to be piled into a landfill.

Ask them if they had rather control costs, and dispose of trash in a less expensive, more environmentally friendly way.

Ask them if they will consider a regional Waste-to-Energy plant.

WTE: Waste to Energy: 180 tons of municipal solid waste yields 6 megawatts per hour of electricity and thousand of gallons of water and meets clean air standards and provides jobs.

A Waste-to-energy module developed by Naanovo can reduce 180 tons of municipal solid waste a day down to 10% of its raw volume and down to 20% of its original weight. This process will generate a minimum of six megawatts per hour of electricity and a natural byproduct of each WTE module is 145,920 gallons per day of distilled water.

I repeat: WTE : Waste to Energy: One module using 180 tons of municipal solid waste yields 6 megawatts per hour of electricity and thousand of gallons of water and meets clean air standards. And this is just one of the options available for waste-to-energy.

Real Scoop on Parking Downtown

From the N&R Yesterday. "A subcommittee of city officials and merchants has been studying possible solutions since spring. The group plans to discuss its recommendations Tuesday with the full Downtown Development Advisory Committee. Then any proposals go before council for a vote."

Actually, city officials, DGI, merchants, property owners, big business and out-of-town consultants have been discussing parking problems in Downtown Greensboro for many years. The most recent series of discussions started when an out-of-town consultant arranged to talk to some of the people who are directly affected by parking.
I met with him. I was the only person who attended the meeting. The meeting was set up early so that working people could attend. The meeting was so early that I was not allowed into the City Hall because it was not open to the public yet. When I finally got in, the consultant and I talked about parking downtown for quite a while. I won't go into any details here, but several months later, I was surprised at what was presented to the Downtown Advisory Committee. It was not what I expected.

I attended several meetings where new parking regulations were discussed. Most of the suggestions were very helpful to the nighttime businesses that have been encouraged to make Greensboro Downtown the place to be at night.

Did you know that renting a parking space from the City of Greensboro, only guarantees you a place if you can find a vacant one in one particular lot or parking garking garage from 8am to 6pm. All other times all meters, city lots and garages have unlimited free parking for anyone.

So, what's the deal? Charge the people who work and shop downtown during the day, but let everyone park free at night.


Here are some other thoughts about Downtown Parking (with some corrections in my spelling and grammar) that I posted on the Inside Scoop Blog earlier today.


The 30 minute passenger parking in loading zones was put into place for very short term parking to run in for a cup of coffee, take out food, make a delivery or to load up a purchase that would be a hassel to carry to the parking garage. At the time they were put in, parking in the garages was much more expensive than parking on the street (even if you got a ticket, the fine was less than parking half a day in any of the decks). It seemed like a fairly good idea at the time.

Delivery trucks are NOT as big a problem as some people think. There is plenty of room to drive on either side of even large trucks making deliveries to most nearby retail stores and restaurants.

I have suggested to the City Council and to the Downtown Advisory Board and to Downtown Greensboro Inc. that a good use of some of the extra tax money downtown property owners pay and/or a portion of sales tax paid on purchases in the Central City would be to have traffic cops in the downtown area during a few heavy traffic times to keep the traffic flowing at a reasonable pace.

REALLY ?? You didn't know that a portion of the county sales tax that is collected Downtown comes back to the quasi-judicial non-profit Downtown Greensboro Inc. A large portion of it used to clean up after the bar traffic and to maintain the Cement Park at Elm and Friendly.

My suggestion to use humans to direct traffic has fallen on deaf ears for many years. This solution was used in the "old days" and is used in congested areas of forward-looking cities and in our large, local shopping centers. I guess the shopping centers are trying to be customer friendly, which increases business.
Most of the people who "make the downtown rules" don't have a personal financial interest in downtown and don't seem to care about how hard the parking regulations are on merchants.

For at least the past 30 years, most of the changes in the Central Business District of Greensboro have done more to hurt the area than to help it.

Some of the things that have been done:

*Trying to turn downtown into an outdoor mall with no parking.
*Closing alleyways so that deliveries and maintenance could not be done from behind the buildings.
*Having no bus stops in the shopping/business district of Elm St.
*When city busses cross Elm Street, at Market, Washington, McGee and Lindsey streets, they don't stop to load or unload passengers.
*Having the HEAT (free student transportation vans) run a short loop by the bars two or three nights a week, but never close to daytime shopping.
*Raising the price of metered parking and installing meters that will not register any parking time on them until at least 25 cents has been put into the slot. So if you park for 5 minutes, you still pay for 30.
*Closing streets, making traffic heavier on those left open.
*Removing turn lanes and narrowing streets by extending sidewalks into traffic lanes.
*Installing medians which make auto, bike and pedestrian travel harder and more dangerous.
*Now, there is talk of moving the Visitors' Center from the Downtown area to inside the Coliseum.

I could go on and on, but it probably will not do any good. We need some good ideas about how to improve the downtown. What I meant to say is that we need some officials who will listen to good ideas and then act on them. There is much talk about helping and saving downtown and making it day and night friendly. What a bunch of rot.

I will attend the meeting Tuesday. The talk will not be driven by customers or small business owners.

There is one suggestion that does seems reasonable.
*Use the loading zones for taxi stands during certain hours at night so the drunks can get home safely.

I hope to see you at the meeting.

City Attorney Stymies Good Action by Council

Last night near the end of the regular Greensboro City Council meeting, just before the Council went into closed session to discuss economic incentives, personnel problems and law suits, there was some discussion about delivery trucks being ticketed for parking in the street while unloading. (see previous post) This practice has been overlooked for many years because there is no other place for unloading large trucks. The City, in it's ??wisdom?? closed off most of the alleyways downtown years ago.

Council members and the Mayor discussed where the trucks should park and if there should be a "designated delivery time." Some members wanted to suspend the practice of giving delivery trucks tickets for parking in the street or in regular spaces until the problem could be worked out.

The City Attorney informed the Council that this could not be done without changing a local ordinance. So, the discussion almost stopped.

I could not see some of the people commenting from the staff area, but I think that Ben Brown, Assistant City Attorney, said it would be worked out. I hope it will be, AND SOON because any dummy knows that retail cannot survive without deliveries.

Beer Truck Blues

Parking in Downtown Greensboro isn't bad enough. The city is doing some strange stuff. I have heard from reliable sources that parking patrol officers are giving out tickets to delivery trucks that park in the street to unload. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?

Many of the people who have rented apartments and/or purchased condos in the Central Business District have been duped. They were sold a misleading bill of goods. Of course there are many places to eat and drink in the CB; but there are very few good jobs and very little reasonably priced places to shop for everyday goods. So, if you live downtown you can eat, drink and walk home. But you probably have to drive to work, to shop for clothing, groceries, toys, school supplies, hardware and appliances, medical and dental care, etc. And they need available, reasonably priced, places to park.

We want empty nesters and retirees in Downtown Greensboro. Most of the living space requires walking up stairs, which is not suitable for many older people. We want young people to live in Greensboro. What happens when they want to settle down and have children? How far can a mother walk with her small children and several bags of groceries? Parking is a problem. Children need grass and trees and back yards. There seem to be very few amenities for families with children downtown; but, there are still some family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding it. We should protect the neighorhoods around the CB and not let CB zoning creep into family-living areas. Let's try to keep Greensboro family friendly and keep the downtown auto and pedestrial friendly. And try to be a little more helpful to daytime businesses that support and are supported by downtown residents.