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Jan 24, 2010

Comments

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John Wrenn

I just love the irony of it all. Skip must be in line to make a killing if he is pulling out the "march on Quaintance/Weaver" to kill opposition to this boondoggle. I love the way Skip quietly recused himself from the vote without notifying the remainder of the council, who I would think he lobbied vigorously for the project, of his true motives before stepping out for the vote.
I think if Skip had a shred of decency, he would reveal what his potential take would be if this goes through. I bet the Olde Asheboro Neighborhood Association would probably be suprised to find that the majority of any profits would go to a select few, leaving the others, along with the City, holding the bag when this deal inevitably fails.

Cyndy Hayworth

A test for Skip Alston: will he stand up to Deena Hayes, who wants to hijack the opening of the Civil Rights museum to make the dispute over hotel bonds into a racial issue?

Ed, are you kidding? Why would Skip start telling the truth now? This time, he is in over his head and he has threatened the wrong guy!

cheripickr

Doc, is that you?

john wrenn

Probably

Tony Wilkins

A threatened protest march over a request for information?
Bizarre, even for Greensboro.
A blood transfusion for the salivating N&R who remains on high alert.

Brandon Burgess

“This is very symbolic of what the whole movement is about” -Deena Hayes.

--No, not at all.

GreensboroGate

Well people pick their battles. Dennis knew what he was getting himself into. I think it is interesting that Dennis is contradicting himself. He proposes a downtown hotel himself last year, but on the other hand he says the market isn't ready for a downtown hotel when someone else proposes one. Talk about double talk

A. Bulluck

Right...Mike Weaver and Dennis Quaintance are huge racists. Few others have done more to advance opportunities for blacks in this city than those two men. Why does Hayes have so much contempt for whites? She clearly has some caucasian in her ancestry.

Andrew Brod

This new development makes me very sad. Abba Eben said famously that Yasser Arafat "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Will Greensboro continue to miss the tremendous opportunities created by this museum?

Like many of us, I've been wondering why the Old Asheboro neighborhood association would be awarded an equity stake. Investors generally don't give such things away without getting something in return. Based on nothing beyond having read the newspaper in Greensboro for 20 years, I assumed it was to assure racial comity. If so, it doesn't appear to be working.

Ryan Shell

There are some very clear dots with this deal that have yet to be connected... Why do certain people care so much - what's the motivation - how are they connected to the money?

Ed Cone

Name names, please, Ryan.

Joe Guarino

Question, to which I do not know the answer:

Is Deena Hayes closely associated with anyone in the construction industry who might, perchance, benefit from this particular project?

Brandon Burgess

Well, I think it is obvious that the involvement of Ole Asheboro group stems from the belief that this hotel will raise property value in the area. From what I understand, Hayes lives in Ole Asheboro and sits some kind of Ole Asheboro board.

Plus, like Chisolm told Yes!, Ole Asheboro brings a "spirit of connectivity" to the table. Right.

Again, I wonder how the men involved with the sit-in would view a march on opening day of the International Civil Rights Museum. Would they see it as a struggle for economic equality? Or race-baiting at it's worst?

Am I correct in assuming that this march may take place in protest to a public records request? What does that have to do with equal rights other than the fact we have some very arrogant, influential, minority politicians telling us not to ask questions, to mind our own business.

This isn't a black/white issue. This is a top/bottom issue.

Account Deleted

Who would in their right mind protest transparency? And why?

Reminds me of Michael King and Project Homestead. Is Greensboro that blind?

Lloyd

People don't forget that Deena and Skip were lovers for years. And yes Deena's boyfriend John Greene is a contractor and just stood before CC on Tues. Skip is behind bringing Bridgette here and Ole Asheboro is being used to show "community support" Quaintance and Weaver should be applauded for their actions. Racist? Not at all! I think the mention of a march is a bluff. There's nothing about this matter that warrants a march. But if the jackals need to take the center stage, please by all means do so to your own embarrassment.

john wrenn

Maybe the city could legalize video poker to fund this thing. Get old Earl Jones back in the game.

Tim

Folks this hotel is getting built. People can whine all they want to about getting answers, Skip Alston and a feasibilty report that doesnt even cover the whole project. Everything is legal and the project is private. Quanintance and Weaver have no say so in this project. See everyone in 2012 at the ribbon cutting at our downtown Westin hotel :) Just like the baseball stadium, you lose and you move on

Tim

No wonder people are bringing race in to this. People are making this a referendum on Skip Alston, Deena Hayes and now somebody has brought up Earl Jones and Michael King. It just reinforces racial sterotypes that black leaders are shady crooks.

Brandon Burgess

Tim, lets pretend you are right, that this hotel WILL be built and everything IS legal.

Why protest a public records request and call the request discrimination and paternalism? If everything is clean, then why the threat?

Abner Doon

"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding,
because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left."

Margaret Thatcher


The race card was an emotional mistake by Hayes.

It uncovered the weakness of their positions.

The queen has been captured, and the odds have spiked.

"Folks this hotel is getting built."

Tim confirming panic

cheripickr

From an impeccable source:Tim's identity revealed!

Account Deleted

Tim: Are you really an idiot or do you just play one? I brought up transparency, not race. Michael King and Robbie Perkins fought against transparency and audits of Project Homestead, as I recall. How did that turn out in the end?

Paging Stan Swofford.

john wrenn

Shady dealing isn't limited to this crew. Just ask Steve Arnold, but this project has a familiar cast.

triadwatch

Joe and ed I think jordan green has the answer with a new post on his blog about deena hayes and her roommate if you want to call him that.jirdan posted a link at sues post on this as well. Nice tidbit jordan if you can link it ed please do

Jordan Green

The decent thing for me to do would be to call Deena Hayes to confirm, but I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by noting that Henry Isaacson cited JCG & Associates as a principal in the Urban Hotel Group, the entity led by Bridget Chisholm. JCG & Associates is owned by John C. Greene. Greene and Hayes are both registered to vote at the same address.

My questions are: What records do the city and county have referencing the hotel project or recovery zone bonds that could possibly be considered protected? On what grounds would they try to withhold them? And why would Quaintance and Weaver have to threaten a lawsuit to obtain them. I suggest every reporter and blogger in Guilford County duplicate their request.

Tim

Brandon just watch how this turns out....the goal is to find ANY kind of loophole in the public records that would be grounds to disqualify the project from getting the bonds In the case of Weaver and Quantance, its not about race. They just got caught off guard by this project because they had their own downtown hotel plans last year. Once a group builds a big hotel downtown, we all know its going to be many years before downtown can support another one. Its a lost opportunity for Dennis. Also Weaver/Quantance will no longer have a monopoly on the luxury hotel market and thats what they are scared of.

Jeffrey why bring up other leaders who happen to be black? None of them have anything to do with this project and Michael King is dead. People keep bringing up Skip Alston. Why arent people bashing Kaplan? He is more involved in this project than Skip Alston is.

Brandon Burgess

Tim, if it's not about race, then why are Deena Hayes and Skip Alston threatening a civil rights march on the opening day of our museum to keep the public from asking relevant questions about the project?

In Green's interview with Chisolm and Hayes, Hayes makes it clear that this is most definitely about her race and sex.

Abner Doon

Please stop digging.

Tim

Why even feel the need to ask questions? This is not a public project. If its a private project, they should be able to what ever they want as long as its legal.

Tim

On the record, im not in favor of any march or race war and I do think its a side show thats distracting from the real issue.

Abner Doon

"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Richard Nixon

Tim

If you were getting ready build a new house on land you just bought, how would you like it if I ask you questions about your house and insisted to see your financial records because I thought you weren't capable of paying off your mortgage?

Brandon Burgess

Tim, I think folks are asking questions because it seems that there were other projects that would've been eligible to benefit from the bonds.

I think some folks are wondering if there is any relationship between the confusion at the local level about these bonds, the shady nature of votes cast by city and county officials, proponents of the hotel telling the citizens of Greensboro to mind their own business and elected officials going on to make very vague but serious allegations that racial hatred/supremacy are at work when it seems there are some legitimate ethical considerations.

Also, I've always felt that it is an American value to not let your government bully you. Not only are citizens entitled to ask these questions, I feel it is our duty to ask questions.

Tim

It works both ways. There are people making vague allegations of some rediculous conspiracy theory that city council was blind sighted and there was some scheme to trick them into voting for the bonds.

Margaret Banks

Tim, this is a familiar argument - the "how would YOU like it if someone dragged YOUR business into the light?" argument.

This is a public project that required votes from two government bodies that are accountable to the people. Some people call it "snooping." I call it "living in a democracy."


Ryan Shell

On the "why should questions be asked" comment.

From one standpoint, if the hotel were to succeed it would be a good thing for downtown. On the other hand, it could negatively impact downtown and the investments of many homeowners that have bought into the area.

From the Weaver standpoint, I'd want to make sure all aspects of the project are on point given that the additional hotel rooms could flood the market and reduce room rates. Just a thought.

Brandon Burgess

Tim, I am asking for evidence that racial hatred/supremacy are at work here.
If the allegations are true, then it is pure evil that needs to be exposed. The same goes if the allegations are false; intended only to shock or scare people into submission. A tactic low for even a North Carolina politician.

Tim

Margaret if this were being funded with tax dollars, it would indeed be a public project. But that is not the case here.

RecycleBill

Timmy, Lassie is calling you. She's telling you to stop playing so close to the well.

Oops! Too late.

Tim

People want transparency? go to this website. It tells you all about the recovery bonds and how it works.

http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx

Andrew Brod

Tim, I'm not sure whether you don't understand what's going on or if you're trying to obscure the issue. Yes, the bonds will be purchased by private individuals, so the project won't be publicly funded. But if the city has the option to designate other projects for the RZ bonds, there is a clear public interest. Why is that so hard to understand?

Brandon Burgess

After reading through some of N&R's older articles, I was amused to learn that this group originally wanted the city to just give them the proposed Lee st location.

Lex

Andrew: That's OK. I'm sure enough for both of us that "Tim" is trying to obscure the issue.

The issues are: 1) Why aren't all records pertaining to a project financed in part with public money, on the say-so of two elected bodies, public? 2) Is the project that is to be financed the most viable option out of all possible uses of the bonds, or is it just the one with the most political juice?

Those are the issues. Quaintance-Weaver, for all I know, might have been planning a project for downtown and their request for the records to be public would be no less proper and their threat to sue if the records are not forthcoming no less laudable. Sure, they'd be benefiting, but so would the public.

For Deena Hayes to threaten to disrupt the museum's opening festivities on any grounds, and particular with such a blatant conflict of interest, is despicable. For Skip, who sits on the museum's board, not to call her out publicly on that is equally despicable.

glenwoodobserver

Lex, et al -

I too am curious about how these three projects (Miller Lofts and Deep Roots) came to be "the ones." To be fair, seems like the request for transparency ought to include the totality of the three projects, and not just the hotel. I, for one, think it might help get a bigger picture to compare the process the Lofts and Deep Roots took versus the hotel.

Roch101

Absolutely.

David Hoggard

Agreed, Glenwood.

And to second Lex and Roch (who made a similar comment elsewhere) as well... public records requests are ALWAYS proper.

Somebody is hiding something if they don't agree to that simple notion.

Lex

Glenwood, I agree, and I'm sorry I didn't make clear in my original comment that records on all proposals ought to be public, not just that one.

triadwatch

in the public documents that digtriad made available and triadwatch posted as well the first question was about all the projects #1. Transparency in local government is great to see.

Ed remember when we talked about a trip to D.C. back in june . What were they trying to do back then but go to D.C. which was of the upmost importance for the lee street project. It would be interesting to get the transparency on that issue as well because the mayor and county chairman Skip Alston were supposed to be on that trip. Skip Alston let the mayor take the grunt of that issue but he also wanted to go to D.C. as well.

Jim Caserta

If the recovery bonds represent no value coming from the USGov, why are they doing them? The rates on RZ bonds will be less than you could get in a purely private offering (if you could get buyers for hotel bonds at all). Let's say the spread is from 5% for RZ bonds to 8% for private-label. On $40M that is a $1.2M/yr savings in interest payments. For 200 rooms that is $6k/rm/yr. 68% occupancy, 250 nights/yr, works out to $24 less per night per room that the project would need to charge to break even. My numbers are assumptions (private label hotel bonds may cost more than 8%) but there is no way a RZ bond would be more expensive than private issue. More than 5 minutes of research should be able to get firmer numbers to more accurately estimate the value of the bonds to the project.

Andrew Brod

I read Jim's comment and wondered to whom he was responding. Did anyone say that the RZ bonds had no value beyond that of private bonds? Then I guessed that he might be responding to me: I said previously that because the bonds are purchased by private investors, the project won't be publicly funded. What I meant, and what I should have said, is that it won't be publicly funded at the local level. Of course there's substantial federal funding involved, and my understanding is that it's not just subsidized interest but also a tax exemption for bondholders.

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