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Rhino Times - 2017-11-23
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2017-11-22 00:00:00
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    Vol. V No. 47 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, November 23, 2017 Scott D. Yost Voters Have Fun In Election Booth plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com The Weekly Hammer THE WEEKLY Hammer by John Hammer Remember back when professional athletes were banned from the Olympics because the Olympics was for amateurs? People said that if the Olympics were opened to professional athletes it would ruin the spirit of the games. But the Olympics was opened to professional athletes and the spirit seems to be much the same. Back when professional athletes were Halt the Pretense and Go Pro supposedly barred, it meant that many Olympic athletes had to pretend that they were amateurs. Sometimes athletes would get caught and that caused big scandals, but many athletes took payments of some kind under the table and everyone pretended that they were amateurs with no visible means of support. Some countries provided government jobs for athletes that allowed them as much time as they needed to train, but technically they had government jobs so that was acceptable. People said that allowing professional athletes to compete would ruin the Olympics but in fact admitting that many athletes were professionals made the Olympics better because people weren’t forced to lie or hide their incomes. It also allowed the athletes to benefit financially from their years of training. That is what should be done with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Many players in the revenue producing sports get paid – not openly, but they still get paid. Why not admit these players are professionals and be done with the pretense? It didn’t ruin the Olympics for professional athletes to participate. It made the vast Olympic bureaucracy a little bit more honest. As it turned out, not honest enough but at least the athletes didn’t have to pretend that they could train 12 hours a day, 365 days a year and work a full-time job. Let athletes playing in the NCAA get paid. The second part of the whole process the NCAA has already done, in its own underhanded, inimitable style. There is no reason why the professional athletes playing on college teams should be required to attend classes. The NCAA ruled in the case involving UNC-Chapel Hill that athletes didn’t have to attend class or do academic work to be eligible to play. The NCAA found nothing wrong with Carolina enrolling its athletes for years in classes that didn’t exist. The football and basketball players presumably got A’s if they were playing well and the benchwarmers most likely received B’s, and that appeared to be the bottom of the grading scale for athletes. No classes were ever held and the papers weren’t graded by a professor but by a department secretary. The key to getting a good grade in the class was turning in some kind of paper. There was no reason to believe that anyone read the papers. The NCAA said this was fine with them, so there is no reason for other schools to have to find professors who are willing to give their student athletes a break on the student part. Other schools can simply follow the lead of Carolina and have classes that don’t meet, because having to take time out of a busy practice schedule and going to class is tough for some athletes. The Olympics benefitted from being honest about the status of the athletes competing. It would appear the NCAA would also benefit from being honest about the athletes in revenue producing sports. Look at the current status of big time college basketball. The best players at the top schools such as Duke play one year and then officially turn professional and sign multimillion dollar contracts. Are these players ever really students at the university? They are certainly not on campus for the same reason as other students who are there to earn four-year degrees and then get a job or attend graduate school. Most non-athletes are planning on attending college for at least four years and many for seven, eight or 12 years. If these are typical students, what is someone who attends college planning on staying one year called? The truth is that the colleges and universities make millions of dollars on these student athletes. These are professional athletes in everything except the being openly paid part. Why not allow the athletes to partake of the millions of dollars they are bringing in for their schools? Instead of Duke, UNC, State and other Division 1 schools pretending that they have students on their teams, the teams could still be associated with the schools but could be farm teams for the National Basketball Association and National Football League teams. The pretense of having students play would not be there. If a player decided they wanted to go to school, of course the classes would be free, but there would be no incentive to create classes that never meet for athletes because the athletes wouldn’t be expected to attend class. Being a real student would be an option. NC State is moving closer to this with a luxury dorm for revenue producing-sport athletes. If these are simply students who play a sport, why do they rate a luxury dorm? At a university, shouldn’t the luxury dorm be for the top students, not the top athletes? But of course a student with a high grade point average isn’t bringing money into the school. There is another option. The Ivy League option, where athletic scholarships are not allowed. Let the teams be truly teams made up of students who aren’t recruited or given any special treatment. Either solution would be more honest than what is happening these days with college athletics.

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 3 table of CONTENTS Spend the holidays Downtown 2 WEEKLY HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 5 PTIA SETS ITS EYES ON THE SKY BY SCOTT D. YOST 6 NEW PUBLIC NOTICE LAW COULD BE GOLD MINE FOR GUILFORD COUNTY BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 FREESTYLE VOTERS DISPLAY WRITE-IN CREATIVITY BY SCOTT D. YOST 12 13 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 23 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 25 ASK CAROLYN BY CAROLYN WOODRUFF 35 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 4 RHINO SHORTS 17 REAL ESTATE 18 PUZZLE ANSWERS 18 NYT CROSSWORD 19 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 19 SUDOKU 21 SOUND OF THE BEEP 28 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Cover: Design by Anthony Council – photos courtesy of Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer PUBLISHER Roy Carroll GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 6:00 - 9:00 PM SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 NOON managing editor ELAINE HAMMER creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL county editor SCOTT D. YOST contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD advertising consultant DONNA GOODWIN DECEMBER 9-10, 16-17, 22-23 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM bar crawl FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22 7:00 PM 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com DOWNTOWNINDECEMBER.ORG

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    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer Participatory Budgeting – a way for the City Council to give away more money, as if it needed another way – had a huge problem in its first year of operation: People didn’t participate. Less than 100 votes were needed to spend money on some projects. But the clever folks at Participatory Budgeting have found a way to increase the number of voters and make it appear more people are freely participating in this government giveaway. If the voters won’t come to them, they will go to the voters. In the latest attempt to get people to participate, Participatory Budgeting has gone to select high schools, and there they have a captive audience. Students are trained to do what they are told to do. If they are told to vote for a project, they vote for a project. This is a brilliant move to make it look like people are choosing to participate in Participatory Budgeting. Here is another idea to increase participation: Why not go to the Guilford County Jail? It is a captive audience. The folks in there don’t have much to do. They are all over 14 years old, which is the requirement for Participatory Budgeting, though it is not actually enforced. There are many places in town with captive audiences – maybe not as captive as the jail, but where people would be glad for a little distraction. Shoot, if they keep going around town finding captive audiences, they might even get to the point that the numbers for those participating in Participatory Budgeting are not embarrassing unless you know how they got them. The Muse and I live right off Cornwallis, and usually in the spring and fall we see a couple of deer hanging around the neighborhood, but this year I think we must have a whole herd. My companion, Nelly, feels like it is her responsibility to keep the deer out of our yard and it’s wearing her out. Whether she goes out the front door or the back door, she has to chase deer out of the yard before she can settle down for a well-deserved rest. During normal times Nelly only gets in her bed at night, but lately she has taken to her bed during the middle of the day because of her workload. Between keeping the squirrels up in the trees and the deer out of our yard, she’s just not getting her normal 18 hours of sleep. The attitude expressed by the News & Record on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors is so twisted its funny. The News & Record is highly critical of the Board of Governors for wanting to be involved in running the state university system. From what the N&R opines, the job of the Board of Governors is simply to rubber stamp whatever the administration recommends because after all the administration is made up of professional educators and there is no way that professional educators could waste money or be a part of something like holding fake classes for athletes. It may sound crazy but it seems to me that the purpose of the Board of Governors should be to oversee the administration, to question its decisions and to offer guidance on how education dollars can be best spent. It seems to do this the Board of Governors might benefit from information that didn’t come directly from the administration itself. In covering local government for over 25 years I have learned that government employees are not always entirely honest, especially when they may have done something the governing body may not like. The way to a reporter’s heart is through their stomachs. It is amazing what a nice snack does for press coverage, which is why I’m writing this. I like Aldi grocery stores, but I have become an even bigger fan because Aldi sent me a big box full of goodies to announce the opening of a new store in Burlington. I have no intention of going to the new store in Burlington but look forward to the opening of their next store in Greensboro, because then I figure they’ll send me an even bigger box of goodies. There is something about a press release that comes with food that just makes it a whole lot more newsworthy. RHINO TIMES BUSINESS AND SERVICE DIRECTORY For information to advertise in our Directory call (336) 763-4170

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 5 PHOTO COURTESY OF PIEDMONT TRIAD AIRPORT AUTHORITY PTIA Sets Its Eyes on the Sky by Scott D. Yost Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) has seen a tremendous amount of activity lately – new construction, terminal upgrades, increasing freight and passenger traffic, preparations for a new weather and plane tracking tower, major runway renovations and new restaurants in the terminals. And now the airport is about to experience a major milestone: HAECO Americas’ fifth hangar – a $70 million project that will be the aircraft maintenance company’s largest PTIA hangar – is just weeks from completion, and soon it will bring even more action to the airport. When that 176,000-square-foot hangar, which is nearly twice the size of HAECO’s other hangars at PTIA, is at full capacity, the hangar and operations related to it are expected to add about 500 jobs. The new hangar is capable of holding eight 737’s simultaneously, or a smaller number of even larger aircraft. HAECO’s fifth hangar is creating a lot of new jobs, but the hope among airport and economic development officials is that a new taxiway bridge across I-73 will be an even bigger job creator at the airport. That bridge and the taxiway on top of it connect the airport and its runway to roughly 800 acres of land available for aviation industry site development. While the bridge is complete, there’s still work to do before that taxiway is ready for planes to cross. Currently, crews are lowering and leveling off the shoulders on the sides of the taxiway and using that dirt to fill in holes and low spots nearby. But airport officials and others have high hopes that the bridge will bring a lot of new aviation companies – suppliers, manufacturers, maintenance companies like HAECO, and others in the industry – to the airport. All this investment in PTIA – from private companies, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and others – is largely tied to the fact that the aviation and aerospace industry is a major point of economic development emphasis for Guilford County. Area leaders want to continue the growth brought to the area by HondaJet, the Cessna Aircraft Company, HAECO and others now based at PTIA. Another large development site, the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite south of Guilford County, is now a finalist for a Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant, and airport officials hope the new aviation megasite across I-73 can likewise pique the interest of major aviation players. PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said that, under the current schedule, the taxiway work won’t be done until 2019, but he added that it could be finished much earlier if the need arises. The project’s pace is being dictated in part by the schedule on which the money is being allocated by state government; however, with a commitment from a major player, the work could be speeded up and PTIA could make other financial arrangements. “If a company said, ‘We have to have that taxiway in six months,’ we could move up that timeline,” Baker said. The airport also has sites – ready for business right now – on the airport side of I-73. “We have all sorts of sites on this side, if it’s from one acre to 80 or 90 acres,” Baker said. He said he’s very excited about HAECO’s fifth hangar and the jobs it’s creating, and he said one nice thing about that project is that it is almost all private sector money. He said there was about $4 million in grant money for the project, but the vast majority of $70 million is from private sources. The huge size of the structure means HAECO can bring in giant Boeing 777’s, or other very large planes, and still have room for additional planes. “It gives them a great deal of flexibility,” he said of the new hangar’s size. Regional airlines from other parts of the country, such as Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines, fly 737’s and bring those to the HAECO hangars at PTIA for maintenance. The airline industry has a term, “MRO,” that stands for “maintenance, repair and overhaul” – and that’s exactly what HAECO does in its hangars and what it will be doing in the new one. Every time an aircraft takes off and lands, it’s known in the industry as a “cycle,” and safety and maintenance checks and some parts replacements are required after a certain number of cycles. Baker said the checks are referred to as “A,” “B,” “C” and “D” checks, with the A checks being things like “kicking the tires” and the C and D checks being much more extensive examinations that sometimes require taking the plane apart. Those C and D checks are what HAECO does, he said. “It’s very involved and can take weeks and months,” Baker said of those comprehensive maintenance projects. Even though the new hangar about to open is the fifth hangar HAECO has built at PTIA, Baker said that, due to its location near hangars 1, 2 and 3, HAECO is renaming the new facility “Hangar #4.” HAECO Americas has other facilities in Florida, Michigan and elsewhere, but (continued on page 10)

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com PHOTO BY SCOTT D. YOST Guilford County Commissioners discuss whether or not to start putting legally required public notices on the county’s website rather than in newspapers at a Nov. 14 work session. New Public Notice Law Could Be Gold Mine For Guilford County by Scott D. Yost Guilford County is about to move the method of public notification out of the 19th century and into the 21st. That’s thanks to legislation the North Carolina General Assembly passed earlier this year that made Guilford County a pilot program in the way the public is notified when notification is required by law. The new legislation allows Guilford County to advertise legally required announcements electronically on the county’s website at no out-of-pocket cost, rather than paying exorbitant advertising rates charged by the paid circulation newspapers in Guilford County. Beginning Friday, Dec. 1, Guilford County is the only county in the state with the right to take part in a pilot program that allows the county and the municipalities within it to meet the legal requirements of public notice by posting the information on their website rather than in print. It also allows the county to sell advertising space on its website to other municipalities in Guilford County, the state, and to attorneys who are required to run public notices about foreclosures, deaths, divorces and other matters. For foreclosures (other than those carried out by the county) Guilford County can charge up to $450. For other notices for private entities, the county can charge up to $100. This new legislation could affect the way the public is notified about things like upcoming zoning cases, the sale of government property, property owners who are delinquent on their taxes, and public hearings, which are often held as part of Guilford County Board of Commissioners meetings. Other counties are watching the process and Rockingham County already wants in on the act. In October, the Rockingham Board of Commissioners passed a resolution asking that the state grant that county the ability as well. Rockingham could be added on to the local legislation that gives Guilford County the ability to sell ads and to meet legal notice requirements by posting notices electronically. At a Tuesday, Nov. 14 Guilford County Board of Commissioners work session, the commissioners expressed their desire to move forward with the initiative and took the first step in doing so: They voted to hold a public hearing on the matter at their Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting. The county’s announcement of that public hearing will be placed in newspapers; however, it seems likely at this point that, starting early next year, most if not all such announcements will be posted online as well as in a searchable electronic database in a new special section of Guilford County’s website rather than in an area newspaper. At the work session, several commissioners stated their belief that this move would make the information more accessible to citizens and would, simultaneously, greatly reduce Guilford County’s cost for providing legal notice to the public. County officials also hope that it can make Guilford County a good deal of money since other governments, including Greensboro, High Point, Oak Ridge, Summerfield, Stokesdale, Whitsett, Gibsonville, Sedalia – and Burlington and Kernersville, which both have extended into Guilford County – can all place ads on the Guilford County website for $10 an ad. There will, of course, be startup costs for the county; however, once nearly all parts of the process are automated, Guilford County stands to have a nice revenue stream since it may have both public and private entities using the service a great deal. In fiscal 2016-2017, Guilford County spent $70,900 placing legally required public notices in the Greensboro News & Record, the High Point Enterprise, the Jamestown News and The Carolina Peacemaker. The cities and towns in the county also spent a great deal of money publishing notices in newspapers. The newspapers that have benefited financially from the state-mandated monopoly on public notice advertising and the revenue stream it has produced, are, of course, vehemently opposed to the move. The News & Record, for instance, has been screaming bloody murder over the legislation ever since it was first proposed. However, at the Nov. 14 work session, Guilford County commissioners seemed very pleased to have the newfound flexibility, and the board appears taken with the advantages of the new option that would add another revenue stream where, by law, half the money goes to the county schools. The legislation permits the 13 municipalities in Guilford County to use the county’s new service for announcements. Under the law, originally sponsored by state Sen. Trudy Wade, Guilford County can charge municipalities no more than $10 per announcement. At the work session, Guilford County Clerk to the Board Robin Keller displayed some sample pages of a proposed website on the overhead (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 7 gold (continued from previous page) projector. Once the county’s public notice site is operational, an icon for a new section, “Legal Notices,” will appear on the county’s home page – possibly as early as January 2018. A click on that link will take citizens to the latest county notices and a database that’s searchable by neighborhood, city, date, type of notice or other criteria. Keller said that Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Stokesdale had already shown interest in using Guilford County’s service and she added that other cities and towns have been contacted about it and are considering the option. According to Keller, for most towns and cities in Guilford County, the cost of advertising in the new system will be only about 10 percent of what they’re paying now. For instance, a town that spends $30,000 a year for legally required advertising, Keller said, could cut that to an estimated $3,000. Others familiar with both government and newspaper advertising believe the savings could be even greater for those cities and towns. “When it comes to the municipalities, the session law was very specific that we only charge $10 for advertising,” Keller told the board. “This is a huge cost savings for the municipalities; this does put a little burden on the county.” The new legislation, which at this time only allows Guilford County to make the change, requires that the electronic announcements be searchable, archivalable and printable for citizens. “This will allow transparency, ease of access and cost savings to the county,” Keller said at the work session in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro. The Guilford County Information Technology (IT) Department has been working with the clerk to the board’s office for some time on a website since county staff knew the board was exploring this move. The bill, HB205, became law in early October, but, even before that, county staff knew the change could be in the works and began studying possible implementation strategies. A broader bill that included other counties was passed by the legislature but then vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper before the latest bill was brought back with only Guilford County as part of the pilot program. Keller said that, depending on the number of cities and towns that wish to participate, Guilford County may need to hire a part-time employee to handle the notices and bill those using the service. In the final phase of the project, if commissioners approve the plan, Guilford County will accept online credit card payments for ads – so in time the payment process should become largely automated. Keller said all indications are that the county could bring down its cost a great deal. “In the long-term, this would be a huge cost savings to the county,” Keller said of the county switching to electronic announcements. At the work session, the commissioners were presented with a draft of a potential county ordinance the board may amend and approve before adoption if the commissioners choose to use the new method of getting the word out to the public. Commissioner Skip Alston said he wanted to know whether Guilford County has an option to implement the service for the county without providing that same service for the municipalities. He said one purpose of this move is to save the county money, and, he added, since Guilford County is capped at charging municipalities $10 per announcement, the county will lose money on advertisements posted for other local governments. “It doesn’t make any sense for us to do that if we don’t have to,” Alston said of providing a notification service for the towns and cities. Alston asked if the county had the option of leaving the cities and towns out of it. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne said the county has a good deal of latitude with the details since it would be the one interpreting the legislation and implementing the program. “Frankly, we can do any of it or all of it,” Payne told the board. Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said that, since this is a pilot program and the entire state will be watching what Guilford County does, it may make sense to include the towns and cities even if there’s a financial hit to the county. “If we do handle the municipal notices and do a good job with it, and it’s very successful, and positive word gets out from the municipalities, there may be more of a likelihood that this could become a permanent program statewide,” Lawing told the commissioners. Commissioner Hank Henning (continued on page 11)

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Freestyle Voters Display Write-in Creativity by Scott D. Yost In every election, citizens from all over Guilford County go into voting booths and participate in the very serious act of casting ballots to elect their leaders. Well, it’s “serious” for the most part: In elections – including the most recent one – there are always some voters who get into the booth, see the tempting blank space for write-in votes in some of the races and decide to use that option for something other than its intended purpose. Often, people use the write-in blank for purposes of humor, creative expression or self-promotion. Some voters use the space to make a political statement, while others do things like cast a vote for a long-admired former politician, dead or alive. The Guilford County Board of Elections has now compiled the write-in votes from the Tuesday, Nov. 7 election and some voters used the ballotoffered method of self expression for interesting ends. Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan was reelected but some voters didn’t want her – or her opponent, Diane Moffett. Write-in votes were cast for Elmo, Pip the dog, Miss Babe Ruth (and Ms. Babe Ruth), Greensboro Downtown Inc. President Zack Matheny, the website inforwars.com, Rhino Times Editor John Hammer, his niece Sophie Hammer, former Guilford County Commissioner and Greensboro City Councilmember Mary Rakestraw, current Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes and many other folks. Of course, perennial write-in star Mickey Mouse got votes for Greensboro mayor as well – but what’s surprising is that, this year, Mickey, who usually does very well in the writein category, only got three votes. President Donald Trump got two write-in votes for Greensboro mayor, though some would consider it a demotion to go from president of the United States to to mayor of Greensboro. Former President “Oboma” got a vote as well. (Unlike most modern computers, there is no spell-check function on the county’s election machines.) One voter wanted “Any One Else” as Greensboro’s mayor, but others preferred “No Confi dence” and “None of the above.” Former Greensboro Mayors John Forbis, Robbie Perkins and Bill Knight each got votes. Mysteriously missing from the mayoral votes was former Mayor Jim Melvin, who usually shows up in these tallies. Vaughan even got a write-in vote for Greensboro mayor although her name was on the ballot. Craig Fox, who has worked in the Guilford County elections offi ce for 29 years, helps tabulates the write-in votes each election. He said there does seem to be some difference (continued on next page) BASEMENT WATERPROOFING CRAWL SPACE REPAIR CONTACT US FOR A FREE ESTIMATE FOUNDATION REPAIR 877-222-6502 BasementNeighbors.com WE LIFT CONCRETE! - DON’T REPLACE IT RAISE IT!

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 9 write-in (continued from previous page) between the write-in votes this year and in previous years. “I think the likelihood is less that they will write in Disney characters,” Fox said. He said that, in the past there’s been a barrage of completely “silly” entries but in this election there seem to be less of that type of vote. Mostly this year, it’s real people rather than fictional characters, and in many cases the votes were cast for actual candidates – albeit ones that didn’t make it onto the ballot. In this election, a lot of write-in votes in the Greensboro mayor’s race went to local blogger Billy Jones, who put his name out there as a candidate, and to John Brown, a Republican contender who lost in the primary. For anyone looking for their 15 minutes of fame in the form of certified election results, in Guilford County the magic number of votes needed is five. When someone gets five or more votes, their name is included in the final count passed on to the Guilford County Board of Elections for approval. Some races allow write-in votes while others do not. If it’s a nonpartisan race, such as the Greensboro City Council race, there will be a writein blank on the ballot. A partisan race will have that option as well if at least one want-tobe candidate not on the ballot has collected enough signatures and filed his or her intent to run with the appropriate elections office. Only a candidate who has collected enough signatures is eligible to be certified as the winner of a partisan write-in race, though, of course, voters are free to write in whatever names they want. The number of signatures needed to be considered a qualified write-in candidate for a race varies depending on the office being sought. For instance, someone vying to be a write-in candidate for North Carolina governor would have to collect 500 verified signatures from within the state, while a person wanting to take a county office, such as county commissioner, would have to collect 100 signatures. In races where the number of registered voters for an office is below 5,000, the number of signatures needed is 1 percent of the total number of registered voters who can vote for that office. But many times voters don’t care why a write-in blank is on the ballot – they’re just happy to have the chance to freestyle it in an election booth. In the Greensboro City Council races, votes were cast for LeBron, Go Go Gobana, Any Republican Candidate, Trump sucks, and, in District 4, “No-Meaningful-Choice Here Ether.” That write-in vote was the longest entry in this election and that voter clearly got tired by the end of entering it since the hyphenation disappeared, as did any effort to spell correctly. Miss Lou Lou Gehrig got a vote for City Council as well. (Though dogs are not imaginary, they are not allowed to serve if elected, even if they have created a great deal of good will in the community by helping cheer on the local baseball team.) Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said that, as long as write-in votes don’t affect a race, he only reads them after things calm down. “I’m too busy,” he said of the time right after an election. “Later, I’ll read them in the Rhino Times.” Collicutt said spelling can be a factor, and in North Carolina, he said, election officials try to discern voter intent. If a variation of a name is close enough to determine, the vote will be counted for that person. In the Jamestown mayor’s race, about 160 write-in votes were cast for Robert Frederick, Rob Fredericks, Bob Frederick and similar variations. Robert Frederick is a digital managing editor for American Scientist magazine who is married to a High Point University professor. He lost in the primary but then pursued a writein candidacy for Jamestown mayor on a platform of growing the town while maintaining its small town charm. Collicutt and the elections office does, of course, pay close attention when write-in votes might play a role in the outcome. On Nov. 7, in the Sedalia Town Council race, there were two candidates running for three open seats, so write-in candidate Clarence Meachem won that third seat with 20 write-in votes. Two other write-in candidates in that race amassed five votes each. In the High Point mayor’s race, some voters used the opportunity to express opposition to the downtown stadium project meant to revitalize that city’s downtown. Write-in votes were cast for “No stadium” and “Against the Stadium.” Also, Vaughan got a vote for High Point mayor; however, High Point Mayor Bill Bencini, who wasn’t running for reelection, didn’t get any votes for Greensboro mayor. In Whitsett, apparently there’s no great urge to write in votes. This election, only one write-in vote for that town council was cast – one for Homer Moser.

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 23, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com ptia (continued from page 5) the company has continued to grow its business at PTIA since opening shop there. About a quarter century ago, TIMCO opened up at PTIA. In 2013, HAECO announced it was buying TIMCO and that sale was completed in 2014. When the company announced the giant new hangar last year, HAECO Americas CEO Richard Kendall pointed to PTIA’s central location on the East Coast as one factor that makes it an ideal location for servicing aircraft that fly routes between key connection hubs. He also said at that time that those routes were “rapidlyexpanding,” which, he added, should mean more business for the company at PTIA in future years. HAECO Americas has design, engineering and manufacturing space in High Point where the company also assembles aircraft seats and other parts for plane cabin interiors. The company’s name comes from “Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited.” It’s a worldwide business with a customer base that includes commercial airlines, aircraft leasing companies, private charter planes and aircraft flown by government agencies. As for passenger traffic at PTIA, for years passenger travel was falling, so airport officials are happy to now see those numbers climbing. While it’s not registering giant increases in passengers, just seeing an upward trend is a very welcome development for an airport that in recent decades has seen falling passenger numbers due in part to increasing competition from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Baker said that year-to-date passenger traffic at PTIA is up about 3 percent and that freight traffic is up 16 percent. “I think the industry is doing very well worldwide,” Baker said of airlines and aviation companies. He also said he believes the air carrier freight numbers can reveal a lot. “Freight sort of reflects the blood, or the bloodstream, of the economy,” he said. Baker said packages and payloads reflect growth in the economy overall and that more people and freight flying the airways means more cycles per plane and more maintenance for HAECO and others in the industry. One key improvement coming to PTIA is a new airport surveillance radar (ASR) tower at PTIA. That’s the spinning radar at airports that, among other things, tracks planes and monitors weather conditions. Just as there’s a lot of activity on the land around the airport, there’s also a lot going on in the terminals. PTIA got a new concessions contractor, which led to all new restaurant offerings, including a Starbucks in each concourse. And more changes are on the way. “We are right now working with architects to complete a holistic study of the entire facility and make recommendations for improvements,” Baker said. “The next areas that need updating are the concourses and the baggage claim areas – and certainly those areas will be part of the scope for these architects.” According to Baker, PTIA is also considering modifications to the outside canopy and a possible connection of concourses along with other renovations. Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen said that having PTIA and a giant aviation-specific megasite opening up across I-73 is a major attraction for prospective companies. “I think we have a unique asset,” Christensen said. “Very few places have pieces of property that large with access to a runway. Its importance shouldn’t be underestimated.” Christensen said that, in addition to having the appropriate land available, it’s also necessary to have a solid aviation workforce in the community. He speaks frequently about the importance of a community’s workforce in attracting new business and he said the aviation programs at Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) are a real selling point. “I think the momentum from GTCC is critical,” Christensen said. Earlier this year, a collective of area economic development groups hired former Mississippi Development Authority Deputy Director Jim McArthur to fill a newly formed position: senior director for Triad aerospace development. McArthur, who began the new job in March, is now the point man when it comes to trying to fill the aviation megasite. “I’m knocking on a lot of doors,” McArthur said, adding that he believes there’s a great deal of potential for PTIA’s megasite. “Just having property is a big deal,” he said. “There’s a ton of space,” He said it’s not likely to be Boeing or Airbus, but other aviation companies should find the new sites very appealing. McArthur said there are already about 5,000 airport-related workers making an average salary of about $65,000 a year. He said PTIA has something else working for it. “We have an airport authority focused on economic development,” he said. Like Christensen, McArthur said GTCC is a vital player in luring aviation companies to PTIA. Two years ago, the community college hired 25-year aviation industry veteran Nick Yale to be the director of aviation programs for the school. Before taking the job at GTCC, Yale worked for Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Seattle, where he was a senior manager. McArthur said Yale really knows his stuff and knows how to train a workforce. “He is fantastic,” McArthur said. “He understands – not just training – but aircraft and airlines.” Many are banking that the combination of available space at the airport and a trained workforce will add up to a very enticing product to market to aviation prospects. The big picture looks promising too with an improving economy and increasing airline passenger traffic. According to statistics from Airlines for America (A4A), an airline trade organization, US passenger trips have grown steadily since 2009, when there was a drop in air travel due to the economic collapse. The number of passengers boarding planes in the US has gone from 704 million in 2009 to 823 million in 2016. The numbers for 2017 aren’t in yet, but Thanksgiving travel is up over last year. A4A recently projected that 28.5 million passengers will travel on US airlines during the 12-day “Thanksgiving air-travel period,” which means that number is up 3 percent from 2016 – in line with the passenger traffic increases PTIA has seen for the year to date. The Thanksgiving travel period runs from Friday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 28. Across the country, that’s an increase of about 69,000 passengers from the same Thanksgiving travel period last year. Airlines have added 86,000 more seats to handle that demand. A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich stated earlier this month that passengers are benefiting from “a highly competitive air-service landscape” this holiday season,” which help create low fares and increased seat availability. The 2017 Thanksgiving air-travel period’s busiest day is projected to be Sunday, Nov. 26, with an estimated 2.88 million passengers. Some of those will be departing from and arriving at PTIA, but still on the airport’s wish list are a new carrier and added routes. Airport officials say that industry mergers and industry cost cutting make that wish a difficult one to fulfill.

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