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Rhino Times - 2018-01-04
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2018-01-04 00:00:00
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    Vol. VI No. 1 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, January 4, 2018 Airport Name Change Not A Gift People Wanted plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE CAROLINA J O U R N A L

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | www.rhinotimes.com THE WEEKLY Hammer The Weekly Hammer by John Hammer I usually don’t think much about toll roads when I’m on vacation. I stop, pay the toll and go on my way. OK, maybe I complain a little about the cost, but that’s about it. But this year when the Muse and I were traveling in Portugal we became For Whom the Toll Tolls somewhat obsessed with toll roads. Well, not with the roads themselves but with trying to pay the tolls. Since then I’ve spent some time on the internet and I’ve found we are not alone in being utterly flummoxed by the new toll roads in Portugal, where the only convenient way to pay the toll is by having a transponder on your car. We had rented a car without a transponder because we have gotten in the habit of turning down all the extras they try to add on to increase the rental fee. Admittedly, we should have paid more attention, particularly when the rental agent, who really was trying to help us out, showed us a photo of the toll roads he was talking about. At the time I wondered what he was doing; did he think we had never seen a toll road? But he was right – we had never seen toll roads like these, and without the photo we might have been even more confused than we were, which was pretty darn confused. The toll roads, as far as I know, are unmarked, except for a little sign that I thought meant Wi-Fi was available on the road. But the tolls do have a big steel framework with all kinds of antennas and stuff on them over the road, which is what the rental car guy showed us in the photo. All that stuff is to pick up your transponder signal and take a photo of your license plate. So when you drive under one of these things you know that you are now on a toll road, but there is no way to actually pay the toll while you are on the road, and what we found was there was no way to get off if you don’t want to pay the toll. If you are driving in a transponderless car like we were, your only payment option is to go stand in line at a post office and then, when it is finally your turn, you give your license plate number to the clerk, who looks it up on his computer and then you can pay your toll. Except, as we learned, it is more complicated because the tolls apparently don’t show up on the post office computer for two days and, in true bureaucratic form, you have five days to pay the toll – which you can’t pay for the first two of the five days. After five days they start adding fines for not paying the toll. When we were leaving the country we found ourselves in a situation where we couldn’t pay the tolls because we turned our car (which other than not having a transponder was a wonderful car) in on Thursday and flew out on Friday. So when we left our tolls had not showed up on the post office computer. The first time we stopped into a post office to pay the tolls it was kind of interesting to find out how the system worked, but that was before we found out about the 48 hour rule, so we were mainly just confused. I can’t imagine what people who don’t speak Portuguese do, since the folks in the post offices we visited were helpful but didn’t speak English very well. Later, at another post office, we found out that foreigners could buy a one-day or three-day pass for the toll roads, but then we discovered we couldn’t buy a pass because it is only available to people driving cars with foreign license plates, and the license plate on our rental car was Portuguese. So our only option was the post office. On the internet, the people who seem most upset about the whole system are people on vacation from Germany or Great Britain, who don’t have transponders, and, if they knew about the system, couldn’t find anywhere to buy a pass and didn’t want to hang around the border for two days to pay their tolls before they left the country. We are still expecting to get a bill from the rental car company for the tolls we couldn’t pay, plus a fine that no doubt will be more than the transponder would have cost. Since we’ve been back I’ve tried to explain the system to a few people who thought I had lost my mind, but then I was talking to someone from the North Carolina Department of Transportation who said the state was considering the same type of toll roads here. I can understand the attraction because it looks so good on paper: You collect the tolls without having to pay people to sit in toll booths or even incur the cost of putting equipment out on the road to accept payment. On paper it looks great, but on the road it is a mess. Some of comments online are from people who vow they will not return to Portugal until the system is changed. In North Carolina, I don’t think people would be so nice, except that there is no one around to yell at and, of course, in North Carolina people couldn’t pay at the post office because that is federal and I don’t think the federal government is going to collect money for North Carolina without tacking on a hefty collection fee. It is such an infuriating system I have no doubt that it will be coming to a road near you soon.

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    table of CONTENTS 2 WEEKLY HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 6 GUILFORD COUNTY’S 2017 ALL WRAPPED UP IN A NUTSHELL BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 GREENSBORO 2017: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE BACK BY JOHN HAMMER 10 AIRPORT NAME CHANGE NOT THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT PEOPLE WANTED BY SCOTT D. YOST 11 COUNTY WELCOMES NEW ANIMAL SHELTER DIRECTOR BY SCOTT D. YOST 13 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 17 CAROLINA J O U R N A L 37 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 39 ASK CAROLYN BY CAROLYN WOODRUFF 47 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 4 RHINO SHORTS 15 REAL ESTATE 16 NYT CROSSWORD 33 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 35 SOUND OF THE BEEP 40 NEWS OF THE WEIRD 42 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 46 PUZZLE ANSWERS 46 SUDOKU Hardwood Laminate Vinyl Mobile Showroom $ 1099 $ 1299 www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | RHINO TIMES 3 Includes installation, pad, moving furniture, take-up and dispos 336-288-6643 Call today and we’re on our way! 99 lowest prices sq. ft.period FREE INSTALLED Cannot be combined with any other offer iNstAllAtioN plUs Carpet any 3 bedrooms ** 1YEAR INTEREST FREE GOOD ALREADY GOT A PRICE? BETTER $ 1099 BEST $ $ 1499 Call today and 1299 We’ll we’re on our way! Call Today & We’re On Our Way! * Must purchase padding with carpet. See store for details. Area Rugs Carpet Tile 336-288-6643 LOWEST PRICES PERIOD 3/4” Solid Hardwood $ 4 1 YEAR INTEREST FREE FINANCING with approved credit We come **on selected Shaw products with approved credit Serving North & South Carolina since 1960 2837 Call today Battleground and we’re on our ave way! • 336-288-6643 www.carpetsbydirect.com already Got a price? We’ll Beat It! Greensboro • Wilmington • Myrtle Beach 336-288-6643 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm,2837 Sat 10am-4pm Battleground Avenue, Greensboro * Beat It! Includes to installation, you pad, moving furniture, take-up and disposal! GUARANTEED! See store for details. Mon-Fri 8am-6pm • Sat 10am-4pm www.carpetsbydirect.com *while supplies last. See store for details 1year on i interest-free Guaranteed! financing on select products with approve credit. See store for details Cover by Anthony Council PUBLISHER Roy Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultant DONNA GOODWIN contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD 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

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    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer OK, I drive a car with a big V8. I used every aerosol can I could find, even when forced to buy them at discount stores when regular stores quit carrying them. Charcoal grills, outdoor fire pits, indoor fireplaces, if it’s not 80 degrees on the weekend I’m burning something. I do this because I have been promised that it will cause global warming. I like warm weather and if it were a few degrees warmer every day I’d be a little happier. But despite all of my hard work to bring about global warming, the temperatures over the New Year’s holiday never got above freezing. This is the South, for goodness sake. It’s supposed to be hot in the summer and cool to cold in the winter, but not frigid. We’re supposed to have a couple of cold days a year where it drops into the low 20s or teens, but warms up to 50 or so during the day. If this global warming doesn’t kick in soon I’m going to give up and buy a Prius. I agree with just about everyone in the area, with the exception of the seven members of the Central North Carolina Airport Authority, that the new name for the airport is terrible. But we can call the airport anything we want. The official name is the CNCIA, but I don’t think I’ve ever referred to the CNCIA in conversation as the Piedmont Triad International Airport and I don’t plan on calling it the Central North Carolina International Airport. I have always called it the Greensboro airport and will continue to do so. But the official name is never going to be the Greensboro airport because the Central North Carolina Airport Authority is made up of members appointed by High Point, Winston- Salem and Forsyth County as well as Greensboro and Guilford County. There is about as much a chance of getting the CNCIA named the Greensboro airport as getting Winston- Salem to change its name to West Greensboro or High Point to request that it be annexed by Greensboro. It simply is not going to happen. It is unfortunate that the CNCIA authority wasted its time on coming up with a new name that is no better, and arguably much worse, than the old name, which didn’t mean anything either. There is a lesson to be learned in all of this and that is, although “authorities” sound like a good idea – for instance people have talked about a municipal solid waste authority to get politics out of the garbage business – once an authority is established it is autonomous. It, in fact, reports to no higher authority, and as long as it doesn’t violate the law, it can do whatever it wants. The holidays are generally tough on the news business because there isn’t much news. Elected bodies, courts and most of the government is closed down, which means they aren’t causing problems and creating news. Even President Donald Trump slowed down on his tweeting. So news agencies are out searching for anything that can be considered news, and sometimes the results are hard to comprehend unless you consider that newspapers can’t print papers with blank pages and radio news shows can’t have dead air. Having acknowledged the difficulty, the BBC gets my award for the most inane news story of the New Year. One of the featured stories by the BBC on Tuesday morning was on blind massage therapists in South Korea. I don’t know about you, but the plight of blind massage therapists in South Korea is not high on my list of concerns. I have no doubt that some of the blind massage therapists in South Korea are fine upstanding citizens and some are not, just like any other group of people in the world. Trump went after the US Postal Service in a tweet questioning why the Postal Service that loses money was delivering packages for Amazon at a loss. I don’t know the cost of delivering packages, but I do know that the vast majority of the mail we receive at our house is junk mail. It is not mail that is specifically for me or my wife, it is advertising sent to the house. I have a vested interest in being critical of direct mail advertising since it competes with newspaper advertising, so I admit I have a bias. But if the post office is losing money, why doesn’t it raise the rates for junk mail? Most people don’t want it and throw it away as quickly as they can get to the recycling container. I heard a political analyst say that he figured that when they sent out a direct mail political advertising piece, they had to get the message across in the time it took someone to pick up the mail and dump it in recycling. He said if the message from the piece wasn’t delivered in three seconds, they considered it a loss. Whether you liked or hated Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, it met the criteria. The post office should definitely stop Saturday mail delivery. In today’s world anything time sensitive is sent by email or text. With the clear skies and a full moon Tuesday night, it was bright enough to walk around without a flashlight, but I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone of my generation could do it without “Moonshadow” by Cat Stevens running through their head. I know I couldn’t. RHINO TIMES BUSINESS AND SERVICE DIRECTORY For information to advertise in our Directory call (336) 763-4170 Reach over 50,000 in our Service Directory. Reserve your space by calling (336) 763-4170 or emailing sales@rhinotimes.com

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | RHINO TIMES 5

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | www.rhinotimes.com Guilford County’s 2017: All Wrapped Up in a Nutshell by Scott D. Yost More than any year in memory – and perhaps more than any year in history – the series of events that played out between Guilford County government and High Point in 2017 exhibited the immense tensions present when one county has two major cities within its borders. The role, status and place of the City of High Point in Guilford County – and High Point leaders’ constant contention that their city is treated like the “red-headed step-child” of the county – was a burning issue from the start of 2017 to the fi nish. Guilford County is one of the only counties in the state that has two major population centers – Wake County being the other notable example – and, in 2017, that tension proved more prevalent than ever – and not just because of the heated, halfyear long discussion over whether Guilford County would help fund a new downtown baseball stadium in High Point. The 2017 War of High Point Stadium Funding was the highest profi le example last year of the stress between the two local governments, but there were other major projects that brought those tensions into full view last year as well. For instance, High Point leaders balked when some Guilford County commissioners proposed, in late 2016 and early 2017, that a new county animal shelter be built in east Greensboro. It’s was a long haul from High Point to that proposed location when compared to the existing shelter site, which is convenient to High Point. High Point Animal Control offi cers take their collected stray animals to the Guilford County shelter and the idea of having the shelter in the northeast part of the county was, to say the least, highly unpopular with High Point leaders. In 2017, the High Point City Council adopted a resolution calling for Guilford County to build the new shelter on the same site as the current shelter, 4525 W. Wendover Ave., where it would remain relatively close to High Point. The site the commissioners selected in late summer of 2017 – 979 Guilford College Road, next to a rock quarry – wasn’t in exactly the same spot as the existing shelter, but it is only a twominute drive from it and the Guilford College Road site is in fact even a little closer to High Point than the existing shelter. So the shelter’s new location ended up being to High Point’s satisfaction, but not before that city’s leaders fl ared their nostrils over what they saw as their city’s interests being pushed off to the side by the county. Another issue where High Point’s envy showed up in 2017 was in discussions over the Guilford County Family Justice Center, which helps victims of spousal abuse, elderly abuse and addresses other familycentric problems and crimes. For two years, Guilford County had offered the service to all county residents, but it had done so through a family justice center in downtown Greensboro. The center has been a big success by most accounts, but the question the Board of Commissioners kept getting in 2017 was, “Why doesn’t High Point have a family justice center if Greensboro does?” In November, the commissioners voted to open a new family justice center in High Point, inside that city’s courthouse. As with the new animal shelter project, in the end, High Point got its way and now, starting in fall of 2018, the city will no longer have to be envious of the shiny Family Justice Center In Greensboro. Of course, the $35 million gorilla in the room when it came to High Point/ Guilford County relations in 2017 was the blistering fi ght that lasted for the entire second half of the year – a fi ght where High Point decidedly never got its way. In August, High Point leaders asked Guilford County to help fund the $35 million baseball stadium, the centerpiece of a massive downtown revitalization project. That $35 million loan will take about $55 million to repay when interest is added in. Led by former High Point Mayor Bill Bencini, High Point University President Nido Qubein and a large contingent of other government and business leaders in that city, High Point pressed Guilford County to help fund the stadium, asking the county to commit $11.2 million in future county tax revenues that High Point leaders said would be generated by property value increases around the stadium. Before a mid-August work session where High Point offi cials asked for the help, there was clearly an assumption on High Point’s part that the Guilford County commissioners would approve the proposed fi nancing plan with little to no debate. After all, the High Point leaders argued, Guilford County had nothing to lose since, if projected future property values increases didn’t materialize, the county wouldn’t be out any money nor would the county be on the hook for the debt. That would fall squarely on High Point’s shoulders. But the county commissioners had a lot of questions they wanted answered. In the August work session, some commissioners questioned the projected stadium revenue models while others argued that property in downtown High Point might appreciate whether the stadium was built or not; therefore, they said, the county could very well be giving up revenue it would otherwise have. Some commissioners said that, if that downtown property in High Point was going to appreciate in value anyway, they weren’t particularly keen on sectioning off over a square mile of High Point’s downtown area and committing to not collecting any additional tax revenue from that property for close to two decades. The commissioners also stated that, if the project was a success and a lot of people moved to downtown High Point, Guilford County would have to provide services to that population, but the county wouldn’t be getting any additional tax revenues from downtown High Point for about two decades. (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | RHINO TIMES 7 nutshell (continued from previous page) Normally, when there’s population growth in any section of the county, increased property values help pay for the additional services. The tensions between the two local governments grew, and then, at a Thursday morning, August 24 meeting of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA), Bencini gave his now famous “straw man” speech where he chastised Commissioner Jeff Phillips, then chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and said the county commissioners were making straw man arguments – essentially baseless ones – in order to justify not helping High Point finance the stadium. The ripples from that encounter were so deep and so wide that GCEDA cancelled its next meeting to give everyone a cooling off period – though of course, GCEDA didn’t give that as the official reason for cancelling that meeting. From that August 24 confrontation, it was Katie bar the door in the raging debate, and the war between the two sides often played out in the media because the county and High Point weren’t talking all that much. The commissioners already had a lot of questions when Commissioner Justin Conrad took a close look at a spreadsheet of property values that High Point leaders were using the show the ongoing decline of property values in the downtown High Point area. Conrad found major errors that exaggerated the decline of downtown property values. High Point leaders said the mistakes weren’t important since downtown property values had still fallen, just not as much as initially billed. But Conrad said those mistakes mattered a great deal: If the numbers were wrong, he asked, what else was PHOTO BY SCOTT D. YOST Former Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips handing the gavel to new Chairman Alan Branson wrong with the proposal? Conrad also said the mistakes were easy to catch once someone examined the spreadsheet, and that made him wonder how closely the High Point City Council had looked at the numbers before voting to move forward on the project. The commissioners raised those issues at a county commissioners meeting and publicly chastised their own staff for handing them the numbers from High Point without vetting them, and for about an hour after the meeting, several county commissioners stood in a circle with top county staff – and asked them to explain how such a flawed set of numbers could be handed over the to commissioners. On Thursday, Sept. 21, High Point stadium backers filled the commissioners’ meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House to help get the county commissioners on board, but the commissioners voted 8 to 1 to delay a decision on stadium funding for “60 to 90 days.” The board never addressed the issue again in 2017. In the end, High Point got approval from the State of North Carolina to issue the loan without the state requiring any repayment help from Guilford County government. But that had many commissioners, including Commissioner Hank Henning, asking why High Point had been saying all along that county participation was needed in order for the project to move forward if in the end High Point didn’t need the help at all. While the county’s relationship with High Point was at the forefront of county politics in 2017, there were plenty of other issues and projects that kept county officials busy. One of those was finding a new chairman. Phillips was the chairman of the board in 2017 after serving in that position in 2016. However, in early December, Phillips handed the board’s reins over to new Chairman Alan Branson, who won that role unanimously (if one doesn’t count the fact that Branson mysteriously abstained). At that Thursday, Dec. 7 meeting, Conrad was elected vice chairman on a unanimous vote. In 2017, the county moved forward on some major projects that had been on the table for years and years – the new animal shelter for one, and, for another, a new emergency services maintenance center that the board has been discussing for well over a decade. Both those projects are expected to take a couple of years to complete but many county officials are now relieved that they are finally under way after years of discussion. The county also began work on renovating the old jail in downtown Greensboro to give the Sheriff’s Department a new headquarters. The Otto Zenke building that’s now home to the department’s administrative offices is on its last legs. Conrad, the District 3 commissioner who represents much of northwestern Guilford County, will no doubt play a big role in 2018 in a major initiative that began in 2017: Exploring the creation of a water system in the county’s northwest. The State of North Carolina has put money aside in the state budget to help fund the development of a water system in northwestern Guilford County and southern Rockingham County – high growth areas that often have problems with well water supply and quality. Well water contamination has been a big issue in Guilford County’s northwest for years. In April 2017, the board got a new commissioner even though 2017 was an off year for commissioner election seats. Commissioner Skip Alston, a 20- year veteran of the board and five-time chairman who didn’t seek reelection to his District 8 seat in 2012, joined the (continued on page 14)

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | www.rhinotimes.com Greensboro 2017: Two Steps Forward And One Step Back by John Hammer The historic 2017 City Council election dominated the city news for the second half of the year, but the biggest story for Greensboro in 2017 might be an announcement made in 2018 about Randolph County. In the fall of 2017, it was announced that the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, which is entirely in Randolph County, was in the running for a planned Toyota-Mazda automobile manufacturing plant. It was hoped at the time that the announcement of the final decision would come before Thanksgiving, and then before Christmas. Now the word is that the announcement is to of the area textile, tobacco and furniture industries. It is a game changer of such magnitude that the nonannouncement ranks right up with the major stories of 2017. 2017 • 2017 • 2017 The 2017 election in Greensboro was historic before it began and became more historic once the votes were counted. It is historic because it is the first time the City Council has been elected to four-year terms. It also had more candidates file – 38 for nine seats – than any previous City Council election. Eight women and one man were elected, and for the first time ever there is not a single white male on the City Council. From the beginning it appeared that the election would turn the City Council City Councilmember Tony Wilkins and At-large City Councilmember Mike Barber – were defeated. Wilkins had been the only Republican on the City Council and was defeated – in what was considered Greensboro’s most conservative council district – by City Councilmember Tammi Thurm, who was running in her first election. Barber was defeated by City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy, Greensboro’s first openly gay councilmember. District 3 Councilmember Justin Outling was easily reelected, making him the only male left on the City Council. Outling is black and the City Council is now made up entirely of minorities. Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Sharon Hightower, Goldie Wells and Nancy Hoffmann all won without much difficulty. 2017 • 2017 • 2017 The crowd at City Council meetings had become more and more raucous at City Council meetings in 2016 and 2017. The culmination came PHOTO BY JOHN HAMMER Councilmembers Marikay Abuzuaiter, Goldie Wells, Michelle Kennedy and Sharon Hightower (from left) on election night on May 2, 2017, when the crowd took over the council chambers during a meeting after the City Council fled to hide behind a phalanx of police officers and two locked doors in the council offices. Women in pink hats sat at the dais and, although the video feed of the meeting was cut off, the meeting was live streamed by several people on Facebook. It was a huge embarrassment to the City Council and to the city itself. At the next meeting Vaughan had three disruptive (continued on next page) be made in January. No one will say that Toyota- Mazda is going to choose the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. Those who know won’t talk about it. But the indications are that, when it comes, the announcement will be that that Greensboro- Randolph Megasite has been chosen. If that is the case, then a car manufacturer coming to the area will dwarf all the other stories of 2017. With an estimated 4,000 jobs and thousands more in related industries, it will provide Greensboro with the manufacturing jobs it has been lacking since the demise – which was then made up of eight Democrats and one Republican – further left; and it did. Mayor Nancy Vaughan easily won reelection over Diane Moffett, who registered to vote in Greensboro for the first time on the same day she filed to run for mayor. Moffett has lived in Jamestown for 12 years and rented an apartment in Greensboro so she could run for mayor, which made it legal but highly unusual. Six of the eight incumbent councilmembers easily won reelection, but the two most conservative members of the City Council – District 5

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    TAYLOR'S DISCOUNT TIRE www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | RHINO TIMES 9 forward (continued from previous page) people removed and things got back to normal in the council chambers for the rest of the year, although more shouting from the audience still takes place than was ever allowed in the past. 2017 • 2017 • 2017 The tale of two new downtown parking decks is a story that began without much fanfare in April but gathered a lot of opposition by the final meeting in December. In April, the City Council, with no discussion, agreed to allocate $4 million – $2 million to design each of the proposed new parking decks. One is to be built at the intersection of Bellemeade and North Eugene streets by the Carroll Companies, which also owns this newspaper. The other – which is to be built at East Market and Davie streets, going over February One Place – is headed to court. Both parking decks are designed to have retail on the first floor and hotels built over what will be a city-owned parking deck, and the city in December allocated $60 million for construction – $30 million for each deck. However, the city ignored an easement owned by Rocky Scarfone across the entire width of the proposed parking deck on East Market to the back door of Cone Denim Entertainment Center. The design of the deck went forward without consulting Scarfone, but, in July, negotiations began with Scarfone about how to settle the easement issue. In December, when after much discussion the City Council voted to go ahead with construction, Scarfone announced he would sue, so this will be a 2018 story as well. It has been announced that a Westin Hotel is to be built over the East Market parking deck and, according to unconfirmed reports, an Aloft Hotel over the parking deck on Bellemeade. The parking deck on Bellemeade has already sparked downtown construction, and a nine-story office building is to be built across the street next to the First National Bank baseball stadium. 2017 • 2017 • 2017 The groundbreaking for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts was held in April amid some controversy. The bid for the grading work on the site was rejected, delaying all but the ceremonial groundbreaking. But it turned out that Greensboro Coliseum Manager Matt Brown knew what he was doing and, when rebid, the contract came in $1 million lower than the original bid. The City Council approved the construction contract for the Tanger in December and construction is expected to start this month with the projected opening now set for 2020. It’s a project that began in 2011 and is finally on the homestretch – more good news for downtown Greensboro. 2017 • 2017 • 2017 PHOTO BY JOHN HAMMER Groundbreaking for the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts The City Council effectively raised (continued on page 12) Count on us to keep you on the go with our expert service and the long-lasting value of MICHELIN ® tires. STOP IN TODAY! More miles. With the safety you expect. THE NEW MICHELIN ® DEFENDER ® TIRE. Taylor’s Discount Tire 2100 E. Cone Blvd Fair, honest pricing Family owned and operated TAYLORSDISCOUNTTIRE.COM (336) 375-8883 MON - FRI 7:30 - 5:30, SAT 6:00 - 12:30 NO HIDDEN TIRE INSTALLATION FEES NO HIDDEN TPMS RESET FEES FREE ROTATION AND BALANCE FOR LIFE OF TIRES Life never stops moving. So take on every mile – and be there for every moment – with Michelin’s longest-lasting tire. * * Based on commissioned third-party wear test results in tire size 225/55R17 97H vs. Goodyear® Assurance® TripleTred™ All-Season and Continental® TrueContact™ tires in size 225/55R17 97H, and Pirelli® P4™ Four Seasons+ tire in size 225/55R17 97T, on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu; and in tire size 205/55R16 91H vs. Bridgestone® Turanza™ Serenity Plus tire in size 205/55R16 91H on a 2015 Honda Civic. Actual on-road results may vary. Copyright © 2017 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michelin Man is a registered trademark owned by Michelin North America, Inc.

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, January 4, 2018 | www.rhinotimes.com Airport Name Change Not the Christmas Present People Wanted by Scott D. Yost The recent announcement by the former Piedmont Triad Airport Authority that it was changing the airport’s name from Piedmont Triad International Airport to Central North Carolina International Airport didn’t exactly get the reaction airport officials were hoping for. Instead of a widespread celebratory response that airport officials apparently anticipated, the name change is getting a big thumbs down from almost everyone. Right after the announcement of the change at the Tuesday, Dec. 19 meeting of the Airport Authority, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets lit up with criticism, and even many area elected officials had a negative reaction – a lot of whom didn’t appreciate the fact that the name change was sprung on them with no warning or any chance for them to provide input. It was clear very soon after the announcement that leaders and other area residents have very strong feelings – and a lot to say – about the name of the airport that serves their community. Soon after the change created a social media storm, more criticism was leveled in newspaper editorials, letters to the editor and in private conversations between some elected leaders. One Greensboro businessman has started an online petition at change. org that’s gotten over 3,000 signatures. The News & Record ran an editorial opposing the change and the new airport name was the topic of conversations at many family dinner tables over the holiday break. In a letter to the News & Record, one reader wrote that no matter what it’s labeled people always have and always will call it “Greensboro Airport” since GSO is the official International Air Transport Association airport code and is on everything from the baggage tags to the tickets. Some say the new name is too boring while others argue that changing the name was unnecessary in the first place. One critic said the new name sounds like the name of a junior college while one area elected official who asked not to be identified told the Rhino Times that the name was “something I could have come up with with my friends while sitting around drinking in my college dorm room.” After the name change was announced, well-known radio and online broadcast personality Brad Krantz posted on his Facebook page that the new name sounds like “a lame, politically correct, nebulous result of 1000 monkeys (or consultants) randomly typing for 10 years to come up with something that would confuse anyone not explicitly familiar with Greensboro’s airport.” The Airport Authority is an independent organization established in 1942 to run the airport, and that authority essentially answers to no one. The board has seven members, with three appointed by Guilford County, one by Forsyth County – and the cities of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem each get one appointment as well. The Airport Authority members behind the name change said the name was arrived at after an involved half-year discussion of the airport board with economic development officials and other community leaders. They say the board explored different options and they argue that this is the perfect name when it comes to marketing this area to the outside world and bringing business to Guilford County and the surrounding areas. Regardless of the objections, the airport’s name is now Central North Carolina International. At the Dec. 19 meeting, the Airport Authority voted to make the change – with the new name going into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. At that meeting, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Board Chairman Steve Showfety, the president of Koury Corporation, explained that the new name would allow Guilford and Forsyth counties, and the cities in those counties, to emphasize the area’s prime central location in the State of North Carolina, and between Washington and Atlanta – as well as its central location on the Eastern Seaboard between New York and Miami. Showfety said that no longer would area economic development officials have to explain where the “Piedmont Triad” airport is because the new airport name was self-defining. The name change certainly has its fans on the Airport Authority board. At that meeting, when the name was changed, Airport Authority Member Jim White said of the move, “This is one of the most exciting and worthwhile endeavors that this board has ever undertaken.” But the reaction of others – including some elected officials – was a lot less enthusiastic to say the least. Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad said he has the utmost respect for the Airport Authority members and its staff, but he added that the change was a mistake in terms of both process and content. Piedmont Triad International Airport Executive Director Kevin Baker didn’t have a vote in the decision but he was in on the discussions and he oversees the operations at the airport. “I think Kevin Baker is smart and is an excellent director, and we are lucky to have him, and there are no ‘buts’ about that,” Conrad said. “But do I like the name? No, and I think most people don’t. You’re always going to have some people who complain about something, but it’s rare that people are so universally opposed to something.” Conrad said he was unaware the subject was being discussed during the months that Airport Authority members were apparently talking about it in private. He pointed out that the airport is in the district he represents. He said he’d heard some crazy reasons being thrown around to justify the change, including an argument that “Triad” is the name of a Chinese crime syndicate and therefore the name might have negative associations for those in that part of the world. “I’ve done business in Asia and I’ve never been accused of being a member of the organized crime,” said Conrad, who runs a seafood supply company. Conrad said he’d seen public statements that some elected officials were consulted beforehand about the change, but he added that he wasn’t one of them. “I found out by reading it on Facebook,” Conrad said of the airport name change. “I think the process should have been discussed publically. These are smart people but I don’t think that announcement was thought out.” Conrad said that, if they want the name to actually reflect its location, they should name it “Greensboro International Airport.” “But I know that’s not going to happen,” he added. Conrad said the county commissioners have learned in recent months just how strong the tensions can be between the area’s local governments. It is safe to say that both High Point and Winston-Salem would have a meltdown if advocates tried to name the airport after Greensboro. (It’s also probably relevant that the resolution on the current name change was read at the Dec. 19 meeting by Airport Authority Member Allen Joines, the mayor of Winston-Salem.) Krantz wrote in his Facebook post, “Can we once and for all admit that the only reason our airport (GSO) is not simply called ‘Greensboro’ has been so that Winston-Salem and High Point were not offended for being left out of the name?” Guilford County Commissioner Jeff, Phillips said he was told “a week or two” before the announcement about a potential name change. He said he got a call from Showfety who informed him that the board was considering a change. New Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson was later informed that it would be a good idea for him to be at the meeting. Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, a former member of the Airport Authority who was also at the Dec. 19 Airport Authority meeting, tweeted later that she liked the name, but she added quickly that neither she nor the City of Greensboro were in any way responsible for the new name. “I like the new name of @flyfrompti, because I think it’s more descriptive, but I know many people do not,” she tweeted. “This is simply my opinion. The airport is a separate entity. @ (continued on page 43)

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