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Rhino Times - 2016-11-24
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2016-11-23 00:00:00
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    Vol. IV No. 47 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, November 24, 2016 Happy Thanksgiving

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | www.rhinotimes.com The Weekly Hammer I THE WEEKLY Hammer City Council Not Looking Out for City’s Interest by John Hammer Editor The recent decision by the Greensboro City Council not to allow the development of land on Lake Brandt Road just south of the marina, in the grand scheme of things, is not a game changer. It was going to involve an investment of about $10 million and add a restaurant and a few stores or businesses along what everyone agreed is a busy stretch of road – a road that is going to get busier when the outer loop is completed. However, what the action of the City Council revealed is that no one is looking out for the city. The City Council should not be making decisions based on what 40 or 50 non-city residents think the city should do. (The property is currently in the county and would have to be annexed into the city and then be rezoned before it could be developed.) Ideally, the decisions of the City Council would be based on what is best for the majority of the citizens of Greensboro, not what a small number of residents of unincorporated Guilford County think would be best for them – people who benefit from living just outside Greensboro but don’t help pay the cost of running the city. The City Council should certainly consider the opinions of those who live closest to a proposed development, but it should also consider the opinions of, and what is best for, all the people of Greensboro. In this case, the opinions of the 40 or 50 people opposing the development – who are not city residents – took precedence over what would have been best for the 280,000 residents of Greensboro. The City Council got all tangled up in what the opposition wanted and completely ignored the fact that the residents of Greensboro, who go to Lake Brandt to fi sh, kayak, sail, walk or bike the trails, might enjoy a restaurant nearby where they could stop before or after their outing. It would have provided a good place for people to meet who were involved in activities at Lake Brandt who didn’t live in the neighborhood, like those opposed. Not a single member of the City Council mentioned what would be best for Greensboro. The City Council was mainly concerned with what the opposition didn’t want. In writing about the issue, the News & Record proved again that it is one of the major impediments to the growth of Greensboro. The N&R constantly takes a position against growth and development. The national trend in development for the past 20 years is not to build huge areas that are only residential, but to have small amounts of retail and offi ce mixed in with residential, allowing people to walk or bike to a neighborhood store or restaurant or to work. The idea in community planning today is that everyone shouldn’t have to get in their cars and drive a couple of miles to get a cup of coffee, a bowl of soup, a loaf of bread or to go to work. One of the major arguments against the proposed development was that Lake Brandt Road is a busy road. But if you can’t build a retail center on a busy road, where can you build it? Certainly not on a quiet residential cul-de-sac. In this case, the major argument made by the opponents before the Zoning Commission, which approved the request, was that a chain 24-hour pharmacy that was planned for the corner would be too intrusive to the neighborhood. So the developer specifi cally eliminated a chain pharmacy from the zoning request. Then it was revealed that it was not the chain pharmacy that the neighbors objected to, but the idea that the trees would be cut down and the land developed. It’s a pretty disingenuous argument, since trees were cut down and land developed not that long ago to build many of their homes. Trees were cut down and land cleared to build the school across the street as well. I remember when the land the school is on was vacant. It was a beautiful piece of property. Most of that beautiful property is now a parking lot, playing fi elds and a school. The school certainly didn’t leave 70 percent of its land undisturbed as this developer was proposing to do for the Lake Brandt Road neighborhood shopping center. In fact, part of the school is built in a watershed critical area where no private citizen would be allowed to build. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners, in their wisdom, decided that the cars of teachers and parents wouldn’t leak oil or cause other pollution like the cars parked at a private residence would, and the fertilizer and herbicides used on the fi elds at the school would not pollute the lake as they would from privately owned property. If the City of Greensboro can’t rezone 14 acres on what everyone agrees is a busy road for a small retail development because some non-city residents don’t like the idea of retail development, then what is going to be developed in (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | RHINO TIMES 3 hammer table of CONTENTS 2 WEEKLY HAMMER I BY JOHN HAMMER 4 WEEKLY HAMMER II BY JOHN HAMMER 6 NORTH CAROLINA APPEALS COURT JUDGES ARE COMING TO TOWN BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 ABRAHAM LINCOLN, LEBRON JAMES, AND MAYOR MCCHEESE FALL SHORT IN ELECTION BID BY SCOTT D. YOST 11 DOWN AND DIRTY WITH A SOIL AND WATER COMMISSIONER BY SCOTT D.YOST 13 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 19 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 5 RHINO SHORTS 14 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 17 THE SOUND OF THE BEEP 24 NEWS OF THE WEIRD 27 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 28 NYT CROSSWORD 29 PUZZLE ANSWERS 30 SUDOKU 34 EDITORIAL CARTOON 14 (continued from previous page) Greensboro? The answer would be nothing that has opposition, with the exception of development by friends of councilmembers. The News & Record in opposing the Lake Brandt Road development noted the controversy over the proposed shopping center at the corner of Friendly and Hobbs roads. And there was controversy. People who bought or built homes across the street from the biggest shopping district in Greensboro objected so strongly to more retail development that Greensboro lost its chance to have a Trader Joe’s. Maybe not having a Trader Joe’s at the corner of Hobbs and Friendly is what the people who live on the one cul-de-sac adjacent to the property wanted, but what the City Council should have considered is not what the neighborhood wanted but what was best for Greensboro. Is it better for residents of Greensboro to get in their cars and drive to Winston-Salem or Chapel Hill to shop at Trader Joe’s, or would it be better for Greensboro to have people from surrounding areas drive to Greensboro to shop at a Trader Joe’s here? The News & Record clearly believes that the opponents to the Hobbs and Friendly shopping center were right and the opponents to the Lake Brandt Road proposed center were right. Greensboro is already way behind the major cities in the state. Both Charlotte and Raleigh are growing twice as fast. It would seem that is what the N&R and other naysayers want. But if that is what the majority of the city councilmembers want then they need to be sent home at the next election and we need to elect some councilmembers who have the best interest of Greensboro at heart. It’s more difficult to look at the big picture than simply to look out at 50 angry people and do what they want. However, the City Council wasn’t elected to do the easy thing but the right thing for the Greensboro. It’s hard to argue that annexing land and a $10 million investment is not better for the city. 35 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER SCHMOOZEFEST Cover by Geof Brooks PUBLISHER Roy Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultants DANIEL KNIGHT ABBY SCHMUCKER TYE SINGLETON cartoonist GEOF BROOKS 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (continued on page 11) (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com

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    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | www.rhinotimes.com The Weekly Hammer II THE WEEKLY Hammer Hammer to City: Tear Down These Parking Meters by John Hammer Editor Above is a photo of corruption in Greensboro. Maybe in Greensboro we should be proud that this is the level of corruption that we have in municipal government, but it is still corruption, even if it is small. Why is a parking regulatory sign corruption? Because these are the only four parking spaces on Greene Street downtown that don’t have parking meters. Why don’t these four spaces have parking meters? Did the City Council decide to give the law professors at Elon Law School free parking as a special incentive? No. The City Council didn’t decide anything. In fact it is doubtful that the City Council knows about these parking spaces. The free spaces are in front of the Municipal Federal Credit Union and city employees decided to give themselves free parking. This is corruption – people in power providing special privileges for themselves. The city employees are stealing downtown parking spaces from the public and parking spaces downtown are valuable. This is a special privilege that the city employees have not granted to Elon Law School, Lincoln Financial, the Carolina Theatre, Outer Limits Offender Program, Quiznos Subs, BB&T, Stumble Stilskins or any of the other businesses along Greene Street that would all benefit from free parking in front of their places of business. It is no doubt minor corruption because what the city is losing are quarters from parking meters. But the perk is not the money as much as the convenience of not having to fi nd quarters. And more importantly, it greatly reduces the chance of getting a parking ticket. I have walked past these parking spaces countless times and I have never once seen the tires marked or the parking enforcement offi cers, who are quick to give tickets to cars parked at meters the second the meter expires, marking the tires or taking photos. With no meter, the only way a car could legitimately get a ticket is if the tires are marked or a photo is taken. Since that doesn’t seem to be happening on any regular basis, it’s a safe assumption that these are not only free parking spaces, they are free for far longer than the 15 minutes on the sign. If free parking is good for business as city employees believe, or they wouldn’t give themselves free parking, why aren’t other businesses downtown afforded the same benefit? Why, for instance, do businesses on Elm Street get free parking at their front door but the businesses on Greene, Market, Friendly, Washington, Davie and all the other downtown streets have metered parking? The city should treat all downtown businesses fairly, but it gives special privileges to its own employees and to businesses on Elm Street. What is the philosophy behind special treatment for some? A group of people concerned about the future of downtown Greensboro have asked for free onstreet parking in the downtown. The city cannot possibly collect much in quarters from downtown parking meters, and when you subtract out the cost of having an employee endlessly traveling around the downtown emptying the meters, plus the cost of the meters themselves, it wouldn’t cost the city much. Getting the exact fi gure on how much is collected from downtown meters is diffi cult, since the city insists on including things like parking tickets in the fi gure, and that is a different issue. The city could still give out tickets to cars that parked over the time limit, but it wouldn’t have the meters to depend on, so it would be more diffi cult for the city employees to give tickets. More difficult, but it could still be done. The elimination of metered spaces would also help bring Greensboro kicking and screaming into the 21st century. People don’t carry cash, and in particular change, like they did even 10 years ago. It makes doing business downtown more inconvenient to have to fi nd change to park on the street, which is probably one reason the city employees decided to give themselves free parking in front of the municipal credit union. Why should people who come downtown to spend money be required to carry change in order to do so? The city establishment types constantly talk about attracting more young people to the downtown, but young people are even less likely to carry cash than older folks. They appear to pay for everything with their phones. The fact that the city employees have placed the only free parking places on Greene Street in front of the municipal credit union proves that it is a matter of convenience. Why doesn’t the City Council follow the lead of their employees and make it more convenient for everyone downtown, not just city employees? Councilmember Justin Outling said that not providing free parking was a matter of fairness. He said that parking was a commodity and it wasn’t fair to give away a publicly owned commodity for free. But Outling, when he goes home, can park by his house without plugging a meter. If it is truly a matter of fairness then every legal parking space in Greensboro, including those in residential neighborhoods, should have parking meters. More and more people are living downtown and they can’t park in front of their residences for free during the day unless they live on Elm Street, but people all over the rest of the city get to park in front of their homes for free. How is that fair?

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | RHINO TIMES 5 RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer Editor Thanksgiving is a true American holiday. I discovered this while trying to explain it to someone new to the country. It isn’t a religious holiday, a saint’s day or anything like that. It doesn’t mark the day some big treaty was signed or an important battle was fought. It doesn’t really mark anything. It’s just a day when we are supposed to stop for a moment and give thanks for all that we have, although with all the hoopla of traveling and preparing food, sometimes the giving thanks does seem to take a back seat. The fi rst weekend in December is a big night in downtown Greensboro and a busy weekend for Downtown Greensboro Inc. Friday, Dec. 2 is the Festival of Lights from 6 to 9 p.m., when the streets of downtown Greensboro are filled with lights, music and people. Then Saturday, Dec. 3 at noon is the Christmas Parade on Greene, Market and Church streets. Once again this year the parade will feature Macy’s style balloons. Congratulations to 6th District Rep. Mark Walker for being named chairman of the Republican Study Committee. It’s a much bigger deal than it may sound like. The Republican Study Committee has been around since 1973 and is a group of conservative Republicans who join forces to try and bring about a more conservative agenda. It has a low-key name, but the RSC gets a lot of good work done. Formerly respectable newspapers like The New York Times, which went overboard in their attacks on Donald Trump and their adoration of Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign, don’t have to pretend that they are going to do better or that they didn’t do what everyone knows they did. What they could do is admit that they are not what they have for decades claimed to be – unbiased newspapers. I think it makes a lot more sense for them to stay the course and a dmit that they don’t have one conservative on the staff and they don’t have any idea how conservatives think about topics. It would be freeing for them to be honest. It is so hard to hide your true self. I invite them to free themselves from the burden of pretending to be something they are not. There is a move afoot, apparently led by the News & Record, to rewrite the history of Greensboro. The N&R repeatedly states that Greensboro public schools were not integrated until 1971. This is false. The Greensboro Board of Education voted to desegregate the Greensboro City Schools in 1954, shortly after the Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education – the fi rst school board in the South to do so. Because of issues with the state government, the actual desegregation didn’t take place until 1957. It was a slow desegregation process, but it was far more peaceful than in other Southern states. Greensboro should be proud that it was the first to vote for desegregation and that the desegregation of schools was not wracked with violence as it was in other places. What happened in 1971 was forced busing for racial integration, which did result in violence and was opposed by some black civil rights leaders. About 30 years later the Guilford County Board of Education finally decided it wasn’t working and ended forced busing for racial integration. Hilda and Wil Courter at Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord. Send your Rhinos Around the World to letters@rhinotimes.com or to PO Box 9023, Greensboro 27429. Your Family Jeweler for nearly 70 years Jewelry and Watch Repair, Custom Designs, & Insurance Appraisals CASS JEWELERS BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY FOR A LIFETIME 5559 W. Market St Greensboro, NC • 336-292-1736 • www.cassjewelers.com

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | www.rhinotimes.com North Carolina Appeals Court Judges Are Coming To Town by Scott D. Yost Here comes the judge … Or, rather, here come the judges. Specifi cally, on Wednesday, Nov. 30 the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which nearly always hears cases in the appeals court building at 1 W. Morgan St. in Raleigh, will instead hold appeals court at 301 W. Market St. in Greensboro – in the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ meeting room on the second fl oor of the Old Guilford County Court House. Guilford County staff is preparing for the court’s rare appearance outside of Raleigh, which will allow those who don’t live in the state capital or can’t visit it to see the court at work. Guilford County court workers, along with the Guilford County Clerk to the Board of Commissioners offi ce, are coordinating the Nov. 30 visit during which the Appeals Court will hear oral arguments in two cases under appeal. The Court of Appeals consists of 15 judges who hear cases in panels of three. The court hears appeals of civil and criminal cases from Superior and District courts in the state’s 100 counties, and it rules on whether there were any procedural problems, legal maneuverings or matters of law decided incorrectly by the lower courts that should therefore lead to the decision being overturned. The appellate court judges don’t revisit questions of fact in these cases. A deputy clerk with the Court of Appeals said this week that it’s unusual for the court to leave Raleigh and hear cases elsewhere in the state, but it does happen. “They do it about twice a year,” she said. When the judges hold court elsewhere, it’s usually in November. “They went to Charlotte at the fi rst of the month,” the deputy clerk said. Guilford County Clerk to the Board of Commissioners Robin Keller said this isn’t the fi rst time that the Appeals Court has come to the Old Guilford County Court House to hold court. “We did it once before,” she said, adding that that was over a decade ago. Keller said this is a good opportunity for area citizens to see the state’s court in action and she added that she intends to make time to walk over from her offi ce on the same fl oor of the Old Court House to see some of it. Though the Appeals Court appearance is rare in Guilford County, the three appellate court judges who will hear cases in the county commissioners courtroom starting at 2 p.m. are all very familiar with Greensboro. The three are Judges Wendy Enochs, Bob Hunter Jr. and Rick Elmore. Enochs served as Guilford County’s chief District Court judge before Gov. Pat McCrory named her to fi ll a vacant seat on the appellate court this summer. Hunter was born in Greensboro, went to Page High School and the University of North Carolina Law School before becoming a high-profi le attorney in Guilford County. Elmore practiced law (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | RHINO TIMES 7 judges (continued from previous page) in Greensboro for two decades before being elected to the Court of Appeals in 2002. The deputy clerk of the Appeals Court said the judges will hear two cases with the arguments limited to 30 minutes per side – though the judges’ questions can draw that out. One case, the State of North Carolina v. Lail, is a murder case from Gaston County, and the other, Hough v. Hough, is a Lincoln County divorce settlement case. In the first case, the issue is whether the trail court erred when it imposed a death sentence for second-degree murder on Avery Joe Lail. One question is, “based on the defendant’s use of a deadly weapon – a butcher knife – coupled with unseemly conduct towards the corpse of Brian Dale Jones and concealment of the body, are irrefutable evidence of ‘express malice.’” In that case, Lail allegedly drank a jar of moonshine and smoked crack, beat up the victim and then grabbed a large knife to slit the male victim’s throat before dumping the body with the help of an accomplice. That case may be a good one to hold the interests of any student field trips that come down to the Old Court House to watch the court. Anyone who does come listen to the arguments will almost certainly have to wait a good while to find out how the court decides the case: The Appeals Court judges’ practice is to hear the oral arguments and ask their questions and then, sometimes months later, reveal their decision. Judges on the Court of Appeals are elected in non-partisan races but their political affiliation is shown on the ballot and they serve eight-year terms. According to the website for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in 2015 there were 1,417 appeals, 895 petitions and 3,608 motions filed in the court, which disposed of 1,174 appeals and 4,111 petitions and motions. The site states, “If a member of the three-judge panel dissents from the decision of the majority, there is a right of appeal to the Supreme Court of North Carolina; otherwise, further review of a decision of the Court of Appeals is limited to those cases that the Supreme Court accepts in its discretion.” Holiday Sale $1,000 OFF select spas! offer valid thru 12/31/16 caryls.com 336.691.0111 greensboro, nc

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | www.rhinotimes.com Abraham Lincoln, Lebron James and Mayor McCheese Fall Short In Election Bid by Scott D. Yost Everyone knows Donald Trump did well in the 2016 election but what a lot of people may not realize is that Donald Duck did well too. Donald (the duck, not the presidentelect) and his cast of Disney characters – particularly Mickey Mouse – do well perennially when it comes to write-in votes in elections in Guilford County. Though write-in candidates rarely win, the blank lines asking for free form voter entries on an otherwise highly constrained ballot of predetermined choices allows voters to express their creativity, their dissatisfaction or their true choices in their heart of hearts. What voters write in those spaces every election offers a window into the collective mind of the county’s electorate at that time. In the November 2016 election, there were three races in which all Guilford County voters had a writein option: the races for president, NC labor commissioner and Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor. Craig Fox, an employee with the Guilford County Board of Elections who’s been handling the write-in votes for the elections department said that this year many voters wrote in votes for people who aren’t well known – perhaps themselves. He read off a few random seemingly ordinary names along with names that don’t make much sense, such as “Thiking.” “I mean, who are these people?” Fox said. Some write-in entries, of course, are serious voters. For instance, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | RHINO TIMES 9 election (continued from previous page) didn’t make it onto the ballot for North Carolina but she got some write-in votes. The same goes for independent presidential contender Evan McMullin from Utah. Some Guilford County voters this year used their write-in votes to express their dissatisfaction with the available choices, mostly in the presidential race. That included write-in votes for “Anybody else,” “No one,” “Neither,” “No qualified candidate,” and “Nota,” which may have been a voter trying to type in “Nada.” One voter in the presidential race wrote in “Need more options,” while another put simply, “Undecided.” One person voted for “Anonymous” for president, though that word may not mean what he or she thinks it means. Other voters were longing for their choices to be an option this year even though their candidates weren’t on the ballot. Votes were cast for Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Ralph Nader, Joe Biden, John Kasich, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Carly Fiorina, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and John McCain. President Obama and Michelle Obama both got some votes for president. President Obama is not eligible for another term, but Michelle is. Guilford County Commissioners Justin Conrad and Ray Trapp got write-in support, perhaps from pleased constituents happy with the job they are doing as commissioners. Apparently, “candidates” didn’t have to be alive for Guilford County voters to long for them to be president again, as was proven by the votes cast for Ronald Regan, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. In votes cast for soil and water commissioner, one went to “the ghost of Ronald Regan” and another to Abraham Lincoln. Sports figures, dead or alive, did very well in this year’s write-in voting. The late great former Tar Heel basketball coach Dean Smith got a vote for president, while Duke’s “Coach K” could only manage a vote for soil and water commissioner. Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney and basketball greats Michael Jordan and LeBron James got a little support for president. Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton got a vote for president, which is surprising given the team’s 4 and 6 record this year – though the voter’s thinking may be that, based on some of Newton’s performances this season, the Panthers would be better off with Newton in politics. It’s clear to anyone looking over the county’s write-in votes that some voters would benefit a great deal if election machines offered spell check. There were votes for Bernie Sandars, Burney Sanders, Jill Stien, and a writein vote cast for “Right in,” (though spell check wouldn’t have caught that error). There was a vote for president cast for Wadetruty – no doubt a show of support for Trudy Wade – and for Michael J. Foxxx and Ted Crews. “The spelling is not always good,” Fox said. However, like in horseshoes and hand grenades, close is often good enough for your write-in vote to count. Fox said that, in cases of bad spelling, if a name is recognizable, election officials will record the vote. “We give them the benefit of the doubt,” he said. Many of the county’s voters are apparently religious since there were quite a few votes casts for both Jesus and God. Since election officials have to tabulate the number of votes for each candidate, no matter how he or she is referred to, Guilford County election officials engaged in a conversation as to whether or not Jesus and God are the same being. In some religious denominations they are considered identical whereas in others they are not, and election officials need to know whether to list those votes for the same candidate or for two distinct ones. That discussion is further complicated by the fact that “The Lord” also got a vote, as did “God’s will.” In addition, “Lord your will be done” got a vote for president, as did “Pope Francis.” “Lord Jesus” and “John 3.16” also got write-in votes for this country’s highest office. Tech geniuses showed up in the results as well. Tesla founder Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Apple CEO Tim Cook all pulled in votes for one office or another. Former News & Record Editor John Robinson and current Rhino Times Editor John Hammer each got a vote for soil and water commissioner. Then there were those votes that are hard to figure out. “Water Peanut Achmed” got a vote for president and “Skip obama chorao de Tawakoni” got one for labor commissioner. (There was, at one point in the past, a Facebook page for “Skipe Obama Chorão de Tawakoni Mitchell” which seems to be a large dog in Texas, but the clues on that are very limited.) Also, votes were written in for “Pimp C,” “back spa,” “Joe Cool,” “Smokey Joe” and “Devine femin love” for soil and water commissioner. “You The Entrepreneurs,” “A lot,” “Bubbles,” “John Kickenlooper,” “Wildcat strike IW.” “Joey Upper” and “Thinking Johnson” all got votes for various offices. Some votes did make sense, such as soil and water votes for “Native Americans,” known for their environmentally friendly methods, as well as for Joe Dirt – who’s last name makes him a natural for that office. Captain Planet and Soil Diggins also got write-in support for soil and water commissioner. The vote for “Agenda 21” for the soil and water office made sense, though we here at the Rhino Times had to look that one up. Some votes seemed counterintuitive, for instance, “Gucci” for the soil and water office – and it’s not clear what to say about the votes cast for Mao Tse-tung and for Stalin for labor commissioner. Musicians, past and present, also did well, but not good enough for any of them to win office this year. It would be interesting to imagine President Bob Dylan, as a handful of county voters wanted, but even if he did win he probably wouldn’t accept the honor or even acknowledge it. Jerry Garcia, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and Led Zeppelin got votes for president, while Frank Zappa and Merle Haggard pulled down votes for soil and water commissioner. Singer and Taylor Swift-hater Kanye West got one vote for soil and water. Oprah, Warren Buffet, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Bill Nye and Comedian Lewis Black got votes, as did Ken Bone, made famous by one question he asked at a presidential debate. Queen Elizabeth got a vote for president but she is not a US citizen and could not have served. And, of course, no write-in vote would be complete without the cartoon characters and other fictional entrees. This year those votes included one for Ronald McDonald as well as for Mayor McCheese – one of the few in this group with actual government experience. Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, Goofy, Chuck E. Cheese and Batman got votes for various offices as well. Deeez Nuts always does surprisingly well in the write-in categories and this year the name showed up again several times. The vote for “DJ Mr. OMG” for president was a new one. Even the website infowars.com got a vote for president. Some write-in voters need to be more specific, such as those who cast votes for Mary, Bob and John Bob. There was also a vote cast for “Me” and one for “My cat.” In the write-in votes tabulated so far, there has only been one profane entry. One voter wrote in “$%*# this” but he or she spelled out the four-letter word in that two-word phrase.

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, November 24, 2016 | www.rhinotimes.com Schmoozefest at Blue Agave Mexican Bar and Grill

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