In case you missed the big news from the John Edwards trial this afternoon, yes, it is true, I had to take Edgeworth north to Battleground because Eugene Street was so clogged with cops and news vans and such.
Pending the resolution of this case involving a blogger's right to post about food and health, please remember that I am not a licensed dietitian, although I can see how my frequent paeans to red meat, fried potatoes, and alcohol might confuse the casual reader.
I would guess that Greensboro will not be moving ahead with a downtown performing arts center this year.
A lot of work has been done, and a lot of progress has been made, but barring some deus ex machina on the funding side this thing is not happening in 2012.
With the ticket tax proposal in suspended animation, the amount of bond money needed to build a swell new PAC seems likely to be more than voters will bear in a still-shaky economy.
But a delay should not be a death knell for the project.
Whatever political calculations lay behind the timing of this campaign, a lot of people who liked the general idea wondered why we had to rush. Now there's time to finish the job of planning and marketing the facility. It's a necessary replacement for the superannuated theater that has been a major part of Greensboro's cultural life for decades, and it would be a great addition to downtown.
There's talk beneath this post on the DPAC ticket tax* about Greensboro's self-image and ambitions, relative to other NC cities and as we choose to define ourself.
Missing the boom that remade Charlotte and Raleigh left us some nice possibilities in terms of being clean, green, and livable, which should be good for business and good for the people who live here. We have not focused on those goals as much as I'd like, but we haven't completely paved the county yet, either, so there's still hope.
The continued vitality of downtown is an important element of that strategy, and I think letting patrons of a new facility help pay for it is a good plan.
And it's worth remembering that a significant performing arts space is not just a status marker in the race to keep up with Wake and Mecklenburg, it's the kind of cultural amenity for which Greensboro has been known for decades. In fact, we're talking about replacing a superannuated facility and putting it in a better location, not dreaming of something completely new.
GSO's manageable scale and mellow vibe are big attractions for some of us, but those things are not all that define what this city is and what we can be.
Demand for electricity drives demand for coal, which being "abundant, widely dispersed, easily mined, and not controlled by any OPEC-like cartel" is not going away anytime soon.
No great surprises here, although the stats are compelling. I was surprised that US wind power, while generating just a small fraction of the electricity fueled by coal, was as big relative to global coal as reported.
The NBA has its most intriguing conference finals matchups in years. Lots of great storylines this season, with young stars and old stars and dynastic shifts bringing the league back to relevance in a way not seen since Jordan left the Bulls.
So of course the N&R banners an NBA Sux! article across the top of its sports section, written by an obscure Colorado columnist and based on the opinions of an obscure former Air Force player.
Warren Buffett recently cited local sports coverage as one of the major strengths of local newspapers. His letter was kind of a big deal in the publishing world. Just not on Market Street.
And when Florida State does join the Big 12 -- which happens soon, unless John Swofford can dig into his cutthroat bag of tricks and add Notre Dame while stealing Oklahoma, Southern California or the Carolina Panthers -- it will have two crushing effects.
N&R devotes most of its A1 above-the-fold real estate to a photographic investigation of John Edwards' necktie selections.
Apparently, no actual news happened here in Mayberry yesterday.
At least the new editor is taking things seriously and engaging readers over at his blog, where he addresses questions about the accuracy of a recent front-page report on the wage gap between men and women. Haha jk he's really busy catching up on that NYT story about GSO everyone else talked about three days ago and pondering heavy stuff like "Why do we so love animal pics?"
I read TGWAMM on the recommendation of my mother, not too long after the eponymous war ended, and still think about it all these years later. Also, "Class" was useful back when I was writing about rich people.
StreetWatch needs supplies for its outreach to the homeless. On the list: soup, canned pasta, beans, tuna fish, saltines, peanut butter, water, and toilet paper. Snacks and desserts are appreciated, too.
Please drop off donations for StreetWatch in the box in the lobby of the police station at 2602 S. Elm-Eugene St.
[A] newspaper that reduces its coverage of the news important to its community is certain to reduce its readership as well...
...American papers have only failed when one or more of the following factors was present: 1) The town or city had two or more competing dailies; 2) the paper lost its position as the primary source of information important to its readers or 3) the town or city did not have a pervasive self-identity. We don’t face those problems.
Warren Buffett writes to his new newspaper employees, pledging local control and adequate resources. Free content is an unsustainable business model, he says, and Berkshire is likely to purchase more papers.
From my POV the big news on the Edwards trial is that a northbound lane of Eugene Street by the Preyer building is now a parking lot for "news" vehicles, making it that much harder for me to return to the bosom of my family each evening.
Ginia Zenke was kind enough to send along some photos of the scene around the courthouse. I posted this one because of her caption for it: "Probably two different messages being broadcast here."
Sources who tell me they are themselves well-sourced say the demise of the ACC could be imminent, with FSU and Clemson jumping to the Big 12 and the whole thing then disappearing in short order as the SEC and Big 10 gobble up the remains.
I've seen less-flattering thumbnail travelogues about GSO than Kim Severson's waiting-on-a-verdict placeholder.
And I'd agree that local interest in the John Edwards trial seems muted -- most North Carolinians came to their own conclusions about the man long ago, leaving the field to trial junkies and students of campaign-finance law.
Locals who got upset when Andrea Peyser called our town "derelict" last week must not be familiar with Peyser's highly ignorable schtick.
UPDATE: Seriously, Greensboro, Peyser is not worth your ire.
I thought about linking an earlier version of this story yesterday in a post about nickel-and-diming poor people, but, anyway, this headline is not quite accurate: "Wells Fargo To End All Free Checking Accounts By August."
People who maintain a minimum balance will still get free checking. We'll still be able to get penalties for our own dumb mistakes reversed, too -- I just did it last week at Wells Fargo. Fees are for people who can't afford them. (I guess one could argue that my account isn't really free, as it requires me to park funds with the bank, but the money has to go somewhere so it feels free to me.)
It's great that the N&R Ideas section excerpts local blogs, but shouldn't the paper identify paid opinions as such?
For example, Piedmont Publius is not exactly Sam Hieb's blog, it's a John Locke Foundation vehicle for which Sam produces content that must to some extent advance the viewpoints of the parent organization. Yet readers of the print edition of the N&R get no clue that this is the case -- even the URL, which includes "johnlocke.org," is invisible to them.
That's not a knock on Sam, or JLF, but it does seem like an important detail for the N&R to omit.
GPD press release on blown murder case after the jump. Not a lot of detail on what went wrong, beyond "administrative and documentation shortfalls," but much of the blame is dumped on the now-retired investigator who first handled the case, and the fixes all seem aimed at those administrative and documentation problems. Anyone know what mistakes were made?