Another fait accompli ? ? ?

...Nobody, except the people who have already made the decision, know the fate of the Elm Street property south of Lee Street.
...Several out-of-area consultants have been brought in to help improve the area. Apparently none of their cookie-cutter plans suited the decision makers. The meetings that I have attended about the area have been unproductive and the plans presented by consultants haven't even been adapted to the needs of Greensboro. It must be easy to dismiss plans if they don't suit the decision makers agenda.
...Greensboro government and the so-called leaders here have been dismissing plans from local and out-of-town consultants and from citizen groups for as long as I have lived in Greensboro (about 40 years).

...Another hotel is needed in Downtown Greensboro. The pickin's are poor for tourists and convention accommodations in the Central Business District. A hotel at each end of Elm Street is a good idea.
...The right kind of hotel could enhance Downtown Greensboro. It could bring more conventions and tourists into the whole Greensboro area.
...I think that the reason there is resistance is because it could possibly take business away from "hotel row" near the Coliseum and from the Grandover complex out by I-85.

Some questions are • Will the people who run Greensboro let this happen?
• Who will pay for it? • Will the entire area be developed by one hand-picked "in current favor" developer? • Who will build and manage it? • Do the people who run Greensboro want to make Elm Street a nice gateway into Greensboro? •

More info:
Piedmont Publius
Joe Guarino

Warning - Please Vote

I received this from a friend:

We had to have the garage door repaired.  The Sears repairman told us
that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor
on the opener.  I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest
one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.  He shook his head and
said, "Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower."  I responded that 1/2 was
larger than 1/4.  He said, "NO, it's not.. Four is larger than two..."
We haven't used Sears repair since.

My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and  I
gave the clerk a $5 bill.  Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a
quarter.  She said, "You gave me too much money."  I said, "Yes I know,
but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back."  She sighed and
went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.  I did so,
and he handed me back the quarter, and said "We're sorry but we cannot
do that kind of thing."  The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and
75 cents in change..
Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.

I live in a semi rural area.  We recently had a new neighbor call the
local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER
CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: "Too many deer are being hit by
cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be
crossing anymore." - From Kingman, KS .

My sister-in-law came to visit for a few days and after taking a shower
that first evening, she calmly told me that our tub had a leak.  I=2
0question this and she says, "Go see for yourself, there's water all
over the floor." I check the tub only to find that she had the shower
curtain on the outside of the tub while showering . She's my husbands
sister and has blond hair.
 - From Westminster, CA

My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco.  She asked the
person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.'  He said he was sorry,
but they only had iceberg lettuce.
 - From Kansas City

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee
asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your
knowledge?"  To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how
would I know?"  He smiled knowingly and nodded,  "That's why we ask."
Happened in Birmingham, Ala.

The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. 
I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine.  She
asked if I knew what the buzzer was for.  I explained that it signals
blind people when the light is red.  Appalled, she responded, "What on
earth are blind people doing driving?!"
She was a probation officer in Wichita, KS

We were having a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker, as she
was leaving the company due to 'downsizing.'  Our manager commented
cheerfully, "This is fun.  We should do this more often."  Not another
word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that
deer-in-the-headlights stare.
This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.

I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself
and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would
not turn on.
A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff's office, no less.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our
car, we were told the keys had been locked in it.  We went to the
service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the
driver side door.  As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively
tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I
announced to the technician, "It's open!"  His reply, "I know. I already
got that side.
This was at the Ford dealership in Canton, MS.

When I left  Hawaii and was transferred to Florida, I still had the
Hawaiian plates on my car, as my car was shipped from Hawaii.  I was
parking somewhere (I can't remember) and a guy asked me "Wow, you drove
from Hawaii to here?"  I looked at him and quickly said "Yep. I took the
Hawaii/San Francisco Bridge". He nodded his head and said "Cool!"

STAY ALERT!  They walk among us. . . and they REPRODUCE. . .
And worst of all. . . . . . . . .. . . . .
They VOTE. . . .

Greensboro City Council District 4 Race

Sure glad that I don't have to make a choice about which candidate to vote for in District 4. Both Mary Rakestraw and Joel Landau are personal friends of mine and I think the City Council could use both.

Mike Barber did a commendable job when he served as District 4 Representative. Although I am not in favor of opening the city dump to household trash, Mike's insistence that we could save money by re-opening that part of the dump started a conversation that I think should have been done before the decision to haul household trash out of our county.

Maybe something smart will be done by the new council (if we get some changes to the current reps). Some of the incumbents have been really unrealistic about the dump issue. And many people who support them don't fully understand the issues concerning our landfill operations.

Read to Your Grandchildren

Semi-Annual Used Book Sale
Saturday, November 7 from 9 am – 3:30 pm

For anyone looking for books at a bargain, the Friends of the Greensboro Public Library will hold their semi-annual used book sale on Saturday, November 7 from 9 am until 3:30 pm.

The sale is held at Central Library in downtown Greensboro, 219 North Church Street.

Readers can find fiction, history, children’s books, self-help, business titles and many other subject areas. Also available will be books-on-tape and on CD as well as music CDs and DVDs.

Various prices and bulk offers will be considered. There will also be an assortment of rare and collectible books for sale.

Most hardbacks are priced at $2 and most paperbacks are 50 cents. “For anyone who enjoys reading, this is an excellent way to find great books at bargain prices,” says Librarian Beth Sheffield.

All items for sale are community donations. Proceeds from the sale go to the Friends of the Greensboro Public Library, a diverse nonprofit organization whose purpose is to support the community’s cultural and literary needs. For more information about the Friends of the Greensboro Public Library, check out their website at or call 373-3777 today.

NO Healthcare Plan ! ! !

There is no real Healthcare plan without UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR EVERY CITIZEN.

There is NO GOOD REASON not to provide healthcare for everyone in the United States. The function of government is to provide citizens with what is not easily done independently by each citizen.

It should be obvious to the people who make policy for the United States that healthcare is one of the services that qualifies for government help.

We share costs of defense against invaders to our country. We share costs of emergency healthcare for people who don't have private health insurance. We share costs of water quality regulations. We share costs of regulating food and safe drugs to fight disease. We share the cost of food inspection and regulations. We share the costs of roads and transportation. We share the costs of trash disposal. I could go on and on. We share the costs of many services that we can't provide for ourselves.

We should share the cost of providing healthcare for every one of us.

The USA waste money every day on stuff that is either not necessary or that we can easily do for ourselves.
Government provided healthcare is the right thing to do.




The people who rule what happens in Downtown Greensboro have removed the little greenway through the parking lot on South Elm and McGee streets downtown because they claim that nobody used it. People used to use it to eat bag lunches and watch passers-by and enjoy the breeze and the flowers. Neighbors often sat on the benches and had friendly conversations and/or heated discussions.

Of course, not as many people used it after the benches were removed to prevent so-called "homeless people and panhandlers" from sitting on them. Are these people any less because they do not own real estate? Why should it matter who sits on the benches? Most of these people were harmless, non-violent folks. I will admit that they were sometimes annoying but so are the many drunk customers of the bars that frequent downtown after dark. So, should we ban everyone from downtown who is annoying ? I know some people who fit into that group. Maybe some folks would want me banned.

Where does it stop?
What are these planners plotting? What are they thinking? Maybe to make downtown less attractive so people will frequent the alternatives to downtown such as the strip malls and mega shopping centers owned and operated by people who have no financial or nostalgic interest in our traditional downtown.

Benches and Stupidity

Hey Zach,

Interesting that the same group of numbskulls who want benches along the so-called greenway (actually a cement path) are the same folks who wanted the benches removed from the Downtowners' Park on South Elm Street to avoid panhandlers and homeless folks from hanging out there. And the same group who opposes putting public restrooms in the parking garages because someone might use them for illicit purposes.

Now they want to remove the little greenway through the parking lot on South Elm and McGee streets downtown because nobody uses it. People used to use it to eat bag lunches and watch passers-by and enjoy the breeze and the flowers. Neighbors often sat on the benches and had friendly conversations and/or heated discussions.

There are lots of rules about downtown. One should be that there is no panhandling, (begging) in the Central Business District. There are enough police officers downtown to enforce the rule. Downtown has many rules that are different from other areas of the city. This is one that is needed.

Who is to blame ??

At first I was embarrassed and a bit put-out at myself when I frequently got on the wrong highway returning to my home in downtown Greensboro on I-85 from Charlotte. Then I heard others talking about how hard it is to understand the directional signs. (They have changed several times.)
When coming in from the south of Greensboro on Hwy 220 or as it is now called "the future I-73-74", the confusion is also there because of the frequent signs directing one to I-40 or I-85 and not showing the easiest and fastest route into downtown.
When friends come into Greensboro from Raleigh or Charlotte or even closer, I cannot easily direct them how to get to my house or to their meeting place. After a meeting at a local hotel, I was asked how to get back to such and such highway out of town. I had trouble explaining the route. This is not normal for me. I frequently travel by car and even before GPS devices I rarely got lost in the Greensboro area or on the road or in other cities. I can read and I usually followed the signs to get to my destination or consulted a map.
This latest fiasco in Greensboro which started several years ago is not only an embarrassment to me, but to the whole city and the NC Department of Transportation.
We are the laughing stock of the area. See the latest example of what is being said in the
Raleigh News and Observer.

To Boston & Beyond

Old North Bridge

Lowell and I drove north from Greensboro in June. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

Getting There


View from our Boston Hotel Room

Mass Capitol

Fun at Fenway

Fun on Old Ironsides

Lowell in Rhode Island Capitol

Glad to be home

Sunset Over Fairmont Street

I have been out of town. I was glad to be back home until I read the list of City Council Candidates.

Thoughts about Greensboro Bus Service

Greensboro Should Strive to Provide Shelter for all Bus Stops

It might be difficult to put a shelter at every bus stop. But every one should have a solid place for one's feet when they get off the bus and a bench on which to wait for a ride.
At some stops riders are forced to step off the bus onto muddy spots or wet grass and then either cross a wide street at mid-block or walk down a busy street or through tall weeds to cross at a congested intersection.
These problems should be addressed first. Safety at stops and the location of convenient stops and dry places to step on when alighting are important to riders.

These were items on my agenda when I ran for Greensboro City Council. I have mentioned them to GTA and City Council Members, GDOT and others for many years.
I have lived in Greensboro since 1971. We have not had adequate bus service in all the time I have lived here. Interest in improving transportation options has been on-and-off with Greensboro Government. I am glad that you will be joining me in working on these problems.

Jeri Rowe Does It Again

Thanks Jeri,
Nice article in News-Record about Old Greensborough. It is a community that is evolving and staying the same - a unique neighborhood. I know you couldn't mention all of the characters on S. Elm; but I am a little disappointed that The Browsery and Jar-Mar Brass were not included.

I enjoyed the photos.

More from Jeri about downtown

Also, Michelle Forrest has some interesting photos of the Old Greensborough area on her Facebook page.

See ya downtown,

Downtown Development Scams

In answer to a comment on the post Calling All Property Rights Advocates
I was not referring to the Wachovia Building; however, I believe that the Cement Park that was touted as a gift to the city, but is owned by a private non-profit, was built solely to help sell the Wachovia Building. Check out the biggest promoters of the park. I tried unsuccessfully for years to find out how much money the City of Greensboro contributed to the project, including lighting, curbs, sewers, sidewalks, etc. The park is maintained primarily with tax money.

Now, back to the original comment: One property to which I was referring was a city-owned, block-long area between McGee Street and Smothers Place that was sold to a developer for around $90,000 and I understand is now up for sale for around $400,000 because the project that he promised was never completed.

Another property sold without prior knowledge of the public was part of the parking lot in the 300 block of S. Elm Street and allowing the builder of the proposed development to rent specific parking spots for his tenants and customers. Other business owners cannot rent spaces there even on a "when available" basis, but this one building owner can rent individual spaces exclusively for his tenants.
Several downtown property owners have tried to purchase part or all of that lot. Their efforts were refused and then it was sold to a developer without public knowledge. A new building will be erected next to it on a lot where the old Mantleworks building stood before it was struck by "renovation lightning" and had to be demolished.
I think that if this builder wants parking for his customers, he could have incorporated it into the new building.
And did anyone notice that the new "guildelines" will not go into effect until this out-of-place building is completed?

Favoritism and underhanded deals are the rule rather than the exception in Greensboro.

One downtown success story is the old bank building on the corner of Washington and Elm streets. I think that it was purchased without incentives and has been renovated one floor at a time by the owners. Another is the building on the SW corner of McGee and S. Elm streets. An old building was renovated by one family and is now a bustling spot containing several restaurants and pubs. Another is the small business center in the old Blue Bell Building at the corner of Lee and S. Elm.

Downtown Guidelines

"GUIDELINES" is an understatement and yet another intrusion on the property rights of the citizens of Greensboro.

These guidelines were not written or approved by the people who will be most affected by them - the people who took the risk of opening businesses or relocating businesses in Downtown Greensboro, the people who bought property in the Central Business District without incentives and the people who will suffer when over-regulation and bad judgment by city government ruins downtown, AGAIN.

History shows us that it has happened before.

Also see: Calling All Property Rights Advocates

Calling All Property Rights Advocates

Please let your Greensboro City Council Member know that the you don't approve of the additional overlay restrictions that are being proposed for the Central Business District without the consent of a majority of the property owners and business owners. This is only for Downtown. It is unfair, unless it is applied to all areas of the city. And, not many of us want that.

DGI and others have prepared a 103-page document on design and other building restrictions for the CB. It is another instance of unfair treatment of the businesses operating downtown, especially small independent merchants and property owners.

Recently, the City Council approved selling a public parking lot to a developer who will put up a building that is out of character with the area. Plus, they gave him several perks and incentives that the rest of us didn't get when we moved into downtown and contributed to its revitalization.

This is not the first time that city property has been sold underhandedly to a developer without knowledge of the public and without an open bid process.

We, the people, can change the way business-as-usual is done in Greensboro. It might be too late for this stupid project; but, we should know what is happening in downtown and in other areas of the city that is unfair and sometimes illegal.

When one of our current city council members said that the businesses downtown want free parking and everyone else has to provide parking for their customers, she was wrong. She apparently didn't know that every bit of property in the Central Business District pays an additional 5% tax which is supposed to be used to help the downtown businesses. So, we do pay for parking and other amenities. (UPDATE: I was informed last night by a reliable source that the extra downtown tax is actually 9%)

And, downtown property owners are not the only ones being treated unfairly. It happens too often in all areas of the city.

Downtown needs your help. If you love downtown and you want open, fair government in Greensboro, do something. Find out what your present council person is doing and what his/her opponent in the next election plans to do. Go to forums, meetings, read the blogs and the news papers. And then, vote for a better Greensboro government.
Thank you.

Money, Power, Control

. . .
There are a few major ways to control people - Fear, Brutality, Religion and by Controlling Resources. In more civilized societies, the controlling force is the Power of Money.

I have been saying for years that one of the major problems in the US AND PROBABLY IN THE WORLD is that fewer and fewer people are controlling more and more of the wealth (money).

These big banks that we are told are too big to fail are really too big to succeed.

I was beginning to think that I was the only person in the world who thinks this is true. Then I read a comment in News-Record columnist Doug Clark's blog, Off the Record.
In the comment section, Steve Harrison suggested that the government should be breaking up the merged mega banks instead of forcing them together.

I agree.

Banks that loan money and insurance companies that insure those loans and advisors who determine the collateral value and evaluate risks associated with the loans should not be owned (controlled) by the same mega company. And, one bank operating under several names is still one company.

Competition is the hallmark of capitalism; but when capitalism gets in the way of doing the right thing and private enterprise, with the help of government, becomes government, something is wrong.

Mountain Top Update

. . .
This is from Representative Pricey Harrison today:

Mountain Top Removal

"House Bill 340*, the bill I introduced to prohibit the use of mountain top removed coal in North Carolina power plants, was heard in the House Environment committee this week. NC is the second largest US consumer of mountain top removed coal, a barbaric practice that has lead to the destruction of more than 500 of the oldest mountains on the planet, burned and poisoned more than 1200 miles of streams, contaminated drinking water wells and caused other health problems for neighbors of the mines, and laid waste to dozens of Appalachian communities. The room was packed with coal and utility lobbyists. It was clear that they had effectively convinced members of the committee that increases in energy costs for consumers would ensue from a conversion from such coal, although the allegations were unsubstantiated. In fact, it may have an impact of about fifty cents ($.50) on a monthly homeowners’ power bill. We did not take a vote on the bill this week. Appalachian Voices, who has been working on this issue at the national and regional level and helping me with bill, and I are contemplating how to proceed."

What Money Cannot Buy

. . .
Will the money our generation saves by burning mountain-top, stripped-mined coal be enough to buy clean air, a healthy, bubbling stream or a beautiful mountain view for our children and grandchildren to enjoy?

We are not being good stewards of the natural resources that we are blessed to enjoy in America. The future depends on what we do now. Let's save the good earth.

Please contact some North Carolina legislators and ask them to protect the beauty of the states that are being polluted by this horrible, destruction of their beautiful mountains. Ask them not to fall for the line they are being handed by Progress Energy, Duke Power and other big energy companies.

There are places where this type of mining might possibly be acceptable for the short-term, but the mountains of the Eastern United States should be protected.

Let's compromise. There are abundant supplies of coal without tearing up the mountains in Eastern United States. If clean-burning coal is ever developed, we still have other ways of obtaining it.

CHANGE ? ? ?

Zach Matheny must have changed his mind about his service on the Greensboro City Council. This quote about service on the Council appeared in the News-Record today:

"We've got to listen to and take up for our citizens. . ."

Up until now he has not followed that direction.

District 3 needs a representative who works FOR the people. Mr. Matheny has not been that person.

Maybe real change is in the air. I hope so.

Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law

Good news for the environment.

The EPA has halted some mountain top removal operations and put a hold on hundreds of mountaintop coal-mining permits on hold until it can evaluate their impact on our nation's streams and wetlands.

More details at CBS NEWS SITE

And a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency Site concerning the Highland Mining Company, Reylas Surface Mine.

Loop Holes in Protest Petition

It's wonderful that the right to protest rezoning has been legally restored to Greensboro with provisions that make it harder to pass the horrible rezoning that has been done in our city in the past. However; there are several loop holes that are used to to the advantage of some who ask for rezoning.

1. There is a provision in NC law which was requested in the Greensboro Legislative Agenda and a coalition of municipal governments several years ago. (I can't remember the the official name of the group).
The law prohibits small unincorporated communities to incorporate if they are within a certain distance of an already incorporated city.

2. NC Law allows large cities to annex any area adjacent to their city limits without any restraints that I know about.

Greensboro uses these two provisions to swallow up areas around its perimeter and inflict "original zoning." to the area.

The protest petition only applies to zoning map amendments. It arises either when neighbors object to the REZONING of a parcel or when the owner objects to a REZONING proposed by the government or the neighbors.

COUNTY RESIDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO USE THE PROTEST PETITION. The exception to this general rule is where the General Assembly has modified the generally applicable law as it applies to a particular city or county. For example, local legislation adopted in 1971 removed the protest petition for Greensboro, while local legislation adopted in 2003 extended the protest petition to Durham County.

The overwhelming majority of rezoning petitions are not subjected to a protest petition. . . .

Some of this Information provided by: David W. Owens, 
Gladys H. Coates Professor of Public Law and Government 
School of Government 
CB 3330, Knapp-Sanders Building 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3330 
919-966-4208 (voice) 
919-962-0654 (fax)

And:The Protest Petition Blog

By Those Who Follow the "leader" ????

To Sue,
Did you read my post about the paved greenway? Your response post didn't seem as if you did. My questions have not been addressed.
Actually, I have been to several of the meetings. I did ask many questions which were not honestly or adequately answered. I have talked with city employees and officials about it.
At one of the meetings with one of the planners from another state who boasted of a greenway in his home town, I asked how often he used the greenway? It was within walking distance of his office. His answer was very evasive.
I am not against the so-called greenway. I just don't think tax money should be spent on it at the present time. There are more pressing issues which I mentioned in my post.

Also see:
More comments

Green Money Pit

A green trail around Greensboro is a beautiful idea. We should secure the land needed but wait to build on it -- when we can afford it. Greensboro has real problems that should be addressed, first.

I looked at pictures taken at the "big celebration" of the start of the cement "greenway" around Greensboro.
I have some questions:
Who is so excited about this project?
Were there any folks there from the Warnersville community?
How safe will a trail be that runs behind industrial areas, and backyards and along deserted rail road tracks?
Will people on the trail be visible or behind high fences and dumpsters?
Will it be lighted?
Who will patrol the greenway?
Will there be benches for resting?
Will there be areas where the homeless will live? What about panhandlers?
Who will clean it and do general maintenance?
What is the "real cost" of building and maintaining it? Who will pay?
Where does it go?
Is it for recreation or for access to shopping, parks, restaurants, schools and other places where people want to go?
Will constructing this path use money that should be used for sidewalks?
Should Greensboro City Council continue to approve the use of so-called stimulus money for such a frivolous project?
How many long-term local jobs will it provide?
How many trees will be cut down to make room for this paved greenway?
Should Greensboro focus on solving real problems such as transportation and housing and green space and tree cover and water quality and clean air OR on feel good projects?
Can we afford it, now?
Should government money (our tax money) be used for this project?
Should it be totally financed with private money contributed by private citizens and groups that can afford to donate?

And my last question: Where can I find real answers to the questions above? Please don't suggest Action Greensboro.

DC Voting Rights Update

The District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 is moving quickly through Congress. The Senate passed the bill late on February 26. NC Senator Burr voted against the bill. NC Senator Hagan voted for the bill.

Click here to see how all Senators voted.

Despite this victory, the fight is not over yet. In fact, it has only just begun! The House of Representatives is slated to begin debate on the bill and a vote is expected to be scheduled as soon as possible.

More Info



Citizens of the District of Columbia pay U.S. taxes, fight and die for the U.S. during wartime, and are governed by the laws that Congress passes. And yet they have no voting representation in Congress. We must right this wrong!

DC has an elected representative in the US House, but the DC Representative doesn't have a vote. Please call your Senators and ask them to support S 160, that gives DC a voting representative in Congress.

Senators are poised for a critical vote on Tuesday, February 24 -- a cloture motion -- which requires the support of 60 Senators. If cloture fails, the Senate will not even be able to consider this vital voting rights measure.

Make your voice heard with those of other activists around the country. Ask your friends, family and others to call as well. No US Citizen should have taxation without representation.

A LITTLE HISTORY: On Friday, September 21, 2007, The United States Senate failed to invoke cloture on the DC Voting Rights Act. Further action was blocked.

The final tally was 57-42. That’s a clear majority of the Senate but THREE VOTES SHORT OF THE SIXTY VOTES NEEDED on this procedural motion. Sen. Burr and Sen. Dole of North Carolina voted NO.

NC Senators in 2009 are:

Sen. Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154

Sen. Kay Hagan

B40A Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342

More information on DC Voting Rights

Bad News for Mountain Tops

Looks like the Coal Industry wins again. It is hard for me to understand the logic of destroying beautiful mountains and polluting water from mountain springs when there are other, better ways to provide energy to Americans.

See article published in The Charleston Gazette

Published on Friday, February 13, 2009 by the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
Appeals Court Overturns Mountaintop Removal Ruling
by Ken Ward Jr.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal appeals court today overturned a judge's 2007 decision to require more thorough permit reviews of mountaintop removal mining operations.


I read somewhere that the so-called stimulus package (recently passed by the US Senate and US House of Rep.) contains money to fund research on clean-burning coal technology, but nothing to regulate where or how the coal is mined. In the meantime, how many mountains will be destroyed? How much will the environment be hurt? How many coal burning power plants will be built (some right here in NC) using dirty, mercury spewing, water polluting methods?

I don't know the status of a bill in the NC House that would try to stop mountain-top removal coal from being used in NC. It is a start and I hope our legislators will pass it.

Negotiation Backlash

Thoughts on Zoning Protest Petition

I find the statement by Marlene Sanford, president of the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition who acts as TREBIC Representative to Greensboro City Council insincere.

According to the New-Record Feb. 14, Ms Sanford said: “The City Council asked us to work on a compromise,” . . . .“TREBIC came to the table to negotiate in good faith.”

When has TREBIC negotiated a real COMPROMISE in good faith?

Negotiation is defined as "try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others."
Compromise is defined as "an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions."

Is TREBIC getting a taste of it's own brand of negotiating?

I find that most, if not always, the development industry in Greensboro only talks to those adversely affected by their policies to convince them that TREBIC is always right and negotiations are usually based on making minor changes to some development plans and do very little to change their "real plans."

Highly paid lawyers hired by developers with very little respect for good development and who are not people friendly, make a show of trying to work with residents adversely affected by their plans.

TREBIC, maybe the joke's on you this time.


It's Not Just Parking

More thoughts on downtown incentives and parking in Downtowners Park (sometimes called panhandlers park)

Cara Michelle wrote:
I’m not a fan of incentives,. . . . . And I don’t think anyone offered incentives to Simmone (owner of M’Coul’s and Green Burro) or the other business owners in that area. If they add parking, Simmone better get some of it,

It’s not just a few parking spaces. It is the idea that now that downtown is a good place to do business, why should an investor even have to ask for incentives. There were no incentives when most of us invested in property downtown or opened businesses there.

Why should the new guy get special parking privileges that no other business gets. Why should he be allowed to buy city property for a fraction of it's worth? What kind of scam is this? The whole thing stinks.

Why destroy one small park when the city spent so much to help build another park downtown that is privately owned by a non-taxpaying, so-called non-profit group.

I can’t understand how citizens can believe the web of lies that Robbie Perkins spews about no investment in downtown in years. Why is a new building a better investment for downtown than a rehab of an historic building in an historic district?

Simon Richy has improved the corner of Elm and McGee streets much more than this johnny-come-lately can ever do. And he hardly gets a thank you. Many others have invested in the area, also.

It's a Start

I was thrilled that the City of Greensboro has finally decided to make a real effort to reduce the power consumption of our facilities. I know that a little progress was made with updates to the Coliseum a few years ago and other minor adjustments to other buildings. The Mayor's Climate Control Agreement was accepted, with reservations, by Greensboro City Council after extensive lobbying by environment-friendly groups several years ago.

If this new contract to retrofit the City Municipal Building and other facilities works as advertised, it will be well worth the investment, even if it takes 13 years to pay for itself. As an added bonus, Pepco Energy Services, the company hired to do the job promises to use lots of local labor.

More information is available in a News Release posted on the city web site. Maybe Greensboro is really trying to be GREEN in some ways.

I only wish that we could keep more of our tree canopy in Greensboro and all over Guilford County by passing and enforcing laws against most clear-cutting of old, beautiful trees for new construction.

What about Waste-to-Energy?

A renewable fuel source - Can be produced locally or regionally - Can be done with minimum damage to the environment - Can eliminate up to 90 percent of trash going into landfills - Does not require strip mining beautiful mountain areas - Does not require long distance hauling of household garbage or crude oils - Does not produce dangerous nuclear waste - does not require huge ocean polluting oil tankers - does not require expansive pipe lines, etc, etc,

Off Again, On Again

I have kept my blogging to a minimum for a while. I have tried to be content with reading other blogs and commenting occasionally. But, I can't stand it any longer.

I will reactivate this little comment space and I hope to add to the Greensboro on-line conversation.

See ya soon,

Who Objects

Am I the only one who noticed that City Council Members who objected to the Zoning Protest Petition at the Jan. meeting are closely connected to the development, building or real estate industry?