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« ScienceOnline | Main | Editing the WSJ »

Jan 16, 2012


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Billy Jones

Why wouldn't East Greensboro be a great place for a performing arts center? Land is cheaper and easier to find, access easier, people are willing to work for less and taxes lower. Moving a performing arts center 1 mile east of downtown could save Millions of dollars of taxpayer monies and benefit the community that needs it most.

And if this is to be a City owned center them moving it to the east would keep more valuable downtown properties in the private sector thereby maintaining higher tax revenue for the city.

Billy Jones

Does East Greensboro not need or deserve a performing arts center?

John Amberg

Downtown already has a "performing arts center." It's called The Carolina Theatre.

Remember that place? They have had many great concerts there. I should know, because I was the promoter for many of them; Keb' Mo' in 1997, the late great Little Milton the following year, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Cha's with Mel Melton for a Mardi Gras party...(all of those shows were made possible with a grant from the United Arts Council) to name a few. Keb has been back at least twice since then, plus there has been Rickie Lee Jones, Joe Bonamossa, Robert Cray, Government Mule and many more.

The Carolina Theatre is a great place for a concert. Plus they have classic movies and best of all, folks, IT'S ALREADY BUILT!

What do you think would happen to the Carolina Theatre if a downtown performing arts center was built? Do we want another empty unused building downtown?

It's bad enough that the Greensboro Coliseum is cannibalizing nearly every other facet of entertainment/activity in this town. White Oak Ampitheatre? Great, if you like $10 beers (where they also consider Yuengling an import, despite the legend on the front of the bottle "America's oldest brewery). Greensboro Aquatic Center? THAT was supposed to go downtown, but thanks to the old City Council bait and switch, not anymore.

Let's make use of what we have while we have it.

Ernie McCracken

Regardless of whether or not the performing arts center locates downtown or at the coliseum, I do hope the people behind the scenes have visited the D-PAC in Durham. Though I have to wonder whether Greensboro's far enough away from Durham to compete with or host the same acts. That place is already making a big name for itself. I know, "terrible" news for the Bull City. Also, even though the Carolina Theatre would be markedly smaller in size to the proposed PAC, what are the chances that former Mayor Keith Holliday voices opposition to such a proposal?


We need to get out of this either/or pattern of evaluating projects. Downtown will thrive with Triad Stage, Broach Theatre, Carolina Theatre, AND a Performing Arts Center. In fact, more venues of more sizes and amenities will allow Greensboro to attract a multitude of different types of acts and performances. Building one doesn't mean the others fail. Tell me which restaurants and stores people walk to after visiting the Aquatic Center or White Oak or an ACC basketball game. They don't. Building it downtown has much more potential for multiplying a visitor's dollar because they can make a day of it - by visiting the ICRCM, antiques stores, Elsewhere, eat at a restaurant, visit the Historical Museum, the Edible Schoolyard, the restored Depot, Blandwood, and more.

Tony Wilkins

Ed, who authored this?


I am a little confused.

Is renovating War Memorial Auditorium the same as building a PAC downtown in cost and finished product?

Moral of the story, never make a building or stadium a war memorial.

Ernie McCracken

Brian, most of the places you mention are long closed by the time a concert gets out. Some aren't even open seven days a week. ACC Tournament-goers who don't stay for the entire session usually retreat back to the areas around their hotels to watch the rest of the games in their hotel bar or at a nearby restaurant. Hence, exactly why we need to address the affordable downtown motel/hotel options before we build The Flying Anvil's big brother. The Marriott and Biltmore are great, but most people can't afford to stay there. At least you're a few blocks from affordable lodgings when you're at the coliseum complex. I doubt this will gain any traction as our former mayor is at the helm of the Carolina Theatre. Granted, it's much smaller than War Memorial, but it is downtown Greensboro's main event center. Let's also not exaggerate the fact that our downtown is tiny when compared to Raleigh and Charlotte, both of which eclipsed us a while back when it comes to downtown revitalization. I think we missed the boat on this one.


"The Marriott and Biltmore are great, but most people can't afford to stay there.

At least you're a few blocks from affordable lodgings when you're at the coliseum complex."

I beleive the Marriott is pretty inexpensive.

The argument seems to be,
we found a pot of gold, that could pay down debt,
but let's spend it.

Let's say who this place would be for.

For most who would have to pay for it?


For those who could afford to go?


Does anyone know what the revaluation is going to do
to the bottom and the middle to keep tax revenues nuetral?

Does anyone know how bad Guilford County is going to be?

I smell the oppulent greed
of those who enjoy spending everyone else's money
for themselves.

Ernie McCracken

"I beleive the Marriott is pretty inexpensive."

Good for you, George, for being a 1%er. You don't get out much, do you?

Ernie McCracken

George, I just tried to book a room at the downtown Marriott for tonight. The cheapest room I could find was a double for $179.95. If that's "inexpensive" in your little world, good for you, but I think in this economy that's extremely unfeasible for the majority of people who are doing a lot more than just spending money on food and lodgings.


i don't know, ernie. if someone would be willing to travel from out of town to downtown greensboro for an event, why is it out of the realm of possibilities that they'd value staying downtown ($90 - $110) as opposed to saving a few bucks and lodging in one of our glorious strip mall hotels on high point road?



Lot of $119.95s.

You get slammed for a call for the night.

I am afraid I am not in the 1%.

Top 20% probably.

Live in 1,795 square feet.

Drive a 2002 car.

Wife drives a 2003.

Kid has a 1993.

Got an old jeep.

Look up my tax values if you prefer.

I teach financial ethics.

Meaning I don't do what I shouldn't.

What I wouldn't do to my parents
I don't do for anyone elses.


ernie, check out the marriott prices in the lower left corner. i've seen prices there as low as $90 during times when they can't give away rooms.


Did anyone notice I have been castigated
for defending the many
by being accused of being one of the few?

Ed Cone

Tony, I don't know who authored it, I would welcome any details on who is behind the push for downtown.

Ernie McCracken

George, your words are drivel. I mean, get some new shtick dude. No one reads what you type. You sound like an old man typing from an opium den. Do YOU smoke the China man's pipe????

Sean, that rate is at $119 right now. Maybe I'm a lot poorer than I thought, but that's not cheap. Plus, most concert-goers buy rooms beforehand. No doubt it's a combination of the brand and center-city location. Then again, I go to A LOT of concerts (over 150 per year), so I'm always in search of a good bargain.

I'm all for a downtown PAC, but I do think we missed the bus on this one. Plus, my main point was that the Carolina Theatre folks will no doubt fight this one tooth and nail.

Billy Jones

As a liberal I'm all about government providing services but I find this effort to get government to compete with existing private services to be quite troubling.

Who stands to profit from this performing arts center and why must it be built downtown?


"Who stands to profit "

This is about buying votes.

Same with the Lake Jeannette Library [taxpayer funded internet cafe]

Same thing with new schools.

And the Aquatic Center, w
which was a fraud against the electorate.

Make somebody happy, they give campaign cash,
and the powerfull stay that way
by charging everyone else for it,
while destroying private businesses.
150 X about $50 = $7,500 per year.

You single Ernie?

I figure two for $12,500 per year.

I just found out I have to pay at least another $25,000
to send two kids through college
more than everyone else who sent their kids for less.

Car insurance for both kids: $3,000 per year.

Rising taxes for Guilford County.

Rising taxes for Greensboro.

Both spending down savings to keep everyone happy.

Are you familiar with our municipal budgets ernie?

Why do you think the commish's want a DMV office?

Ernie McCracken

"You single Ernie?"

No. I married my wife back in 2007.

"Are you familiar with our municipal budgets ernie?"


Why are you insane?

Ernie McCracken

George, I'm fairly certain my family has been living here a whole lot longer than you. So, I do believe I've a bit more invested in this whole thing.

David Hoggard

Man, does all of this sound familiar, or what?

Crafty: "Moral of the story, never make a building or stadium a war memorial."
McCracken: "..the Carolina Theatre folks will no doubt fight this one tooth and nail."

The Carolina is one of the finest period venues I've ever been in. With the right vision, and, I'm guessing, similar money to building new or fixing up the auditorium on Lee Street, The Carolina could be transformed into a jewel unlike any other. Plenty of room for expansion in the parking lot next door.

All we have to do is look at the continued deterioration of the War Memorial on Yanceyville Street (that's East Greensboro, Billy)to witness what could become of the Carolina (or the other War Memorial) when shiny and new is favored over retaining and improving the old.

This could get real interesting. (the Ernie/Ab cat fight above notwithstanding)


I dont recall THE GAC was "supposed" to go downtown. I remember that it "could" go downtown. I do remember I thought downtown and the CVM locals each had positives and negatives.

I like the Carolina Theater.


"for being a 1%er. You don't get out much, do you?

your little world

your words are drivel.

I mean, get some new shtick dude.

No one reads what you type.

You sound like an old man

my family has been living here a whole lot longer than you.

are you insane?"
Does insult echo insecurity?

Ernie, please restate the premise of your argument.

Preferably without the slander.


"Does insult echo insecurity?
Ernie, please restate the premise of your argument.
Preferably without the slander."

Pretty funny coming from you. At least to me anyway. Shall I post your personal attack on me from Joe G's? Hypocrite.

Tony Wilkins

Ed, how and when did you receive the "Urgent Action" letter?

Ed Cone

Via a fwded email, yesterday afternoon.


Email forwards usually show from who it was forwarded (otherwise, one wouldn't know it was forwarded). I think it's legitimate to want to know who authored this.


As I recall, I apoligized Mick.

Ed Cone

Of course I know who fwded it to me, but fwding is not authoring.

The contact person seems to be Zeke Vantreese at the Green Bean, but I have not yet contacted him.

Obviously any serious effort is going to need identifiable people attached to it.


Ernie - Often people do things in town before the show not just after. I went to Charlotte recently for a show at Blumenthal and went early to walk around town and visit bars, restaurants and shops.

Dave H. - Expanding on to the Carolina is a swell idea.

Really, this shouldn't be decided between Matt and Robbie...the citizens ought to have a say in the matter as to whether one gets built at all, and, if so, where.


"Of course I know who fwded it to me, but fwding is not authoring." -- Ed

Right, but I meant their forward should also indicate from whom they received it.

Regardless, I agree with Brian that the public should have some say in this. It would be of interest to the non-decideds, which I imagine is almost all of Greensboro, if we could learn about all the options in an unbiased manner. Right now, it looks like there are a number of options besides just downtown or coliseum. Modernizing the Carolina and doing nothing also seem like options. Will we see a cost/benefit analysis for each or just a boxing match?


i like the idea of expanding the carolina. as it is, the types of shows that can be put on there are somewhat limited by the seating arrangement and the sound/lighting system. if those needs were addressed, and the theater was provided a facelift/expansion, it could be a real jewel.

and i'd imagine that people coming to a show from out of town would be more than happy to spend money eating and staying downtown, even if it costs more than a seedy stay off rt. 40.

Tony Wilkins

EC: "Obviously any serious effort is going to need identifiable people attached to it".

Your post seems similar to a redistricting map found on the front porch, doesn't it Ed? I'm hearing that financial backing for a downtown PAC has eroded. Unknown if that is true or not.

By the way, you may be interested in this:
White Street Task Force Resolution for tonight’s council meeting

Ed Cone

Roch, it came in clean, without any fwds clustered upon it.

TW, exactly that career-ending blunder, except in the ways it's entirely different.

I emailed Zeke, will let you know what I hear.

And, yes, public input on a possible big public expense seems like a good idea.


I hope any effort to build a performing arts center at the coliseum fails. Downtown is a better location and besides, it might be best to wait a few years and see if this facility can be built downtown with private dollars as opposed to a multi-million dollar tax payer funded facility at the coliseum. Why must every big venue be built at the coliseum?


Bottom line....if you want a privately funded downtown Performance Arts Center, vote against the coliseum bond. I'm sorry but a hand full of people aren't going to decide where this facility is going to be built. The voice of Greensboro must be heard!


AB (in your style ... sort of)

"As I recall, I apoligized Mick."

So that makes it all OK? Hunky dory? Hugs all around?

Doesnt mean it didnt happen.

Am I obligated to accept said apology?

What goes around... comes around I do suppose.

Gotta dig some Kharma!


I was wrong.


Dont sweat it. I really didnt and dont take that much offense at this here blogosphere. I've been called worse and they were wrong too! I know I have said some ugly things out there as well. Probably to you! we are all unfortunately guilty.

I do have a problem with folks who MUST attack, denegrate, dislike/hate, etc folks they disagree with. It is wasted energy and juvenile.


The Carolina Theatre could use some support. My perfect downtown always contains a department store with attached garage, like in an old neighborhood of mine..



I just got to thinking if it really matters who is behind the effort to raise awareness of the issue. It is not like a PAC for downtown Greensboro is a new idea. I expect that once we put names with the idea, it will immediately bring out the character assassins and motives will be questioned. I wouldn't frankly care of this was brought forth by a coalition of my least-favorite people...I would support it and advocate for it.


Ishmael - if you like that, you really ought to read Bryson's Life and Times of a Thunderbolt Kid...some hilarious recollections of times spent in a similar store in Iowa.


I authored the letter. I am a low wage service worker in Downtown Greensboro. I don't own land, a building, or a business downtown. I just love this city and love downtown and want to see it thrive. My philosophy is that any city's downtown should be the heart and soul of the city. I am unapologetically PRO-Downtown. I think Downtown should be vibrant and thriving expression of the uniqueness of a city.
I have read the 'Downtown Consolidated Plan" for economic development put out by DGI and attended meetings touting a Downtown PAC as one of 6 priority projects. I believe it is a good idea and would like to see it happen.

My original email had all my contact info on it.


Great! Now we can bat down the conspiracy theorists before their fantasies take on a life of their own. Thanks for your efforts, Zeke.

Billy Jones

I was in downtown Greensboro today-- jury duty.

As far as I'm concerned Zeke can build anything he wants to build downtown-- just don't ask me to pay for it. I am UN-apologetically PRO let downtown pay its own bills just like every other Greensboro neighborhood must do.

As for heart and soul of Greensboro-- never was, never will be downtown or anywhere else. Greensboro has no heart and soul and hearts and souls cannot be built with bricks and mortar paid for with monies stolen from the rest of the city.

And when you vote yes for any municipal bond you're voting to raise taxes.


"Greensboro has no heart and soul..." -- Billy

Your comments are proof to the contrary.


Billy - I don't know of a single neighborhood that pays its own way. Last I checked we pay taxes to the entire city, not by neighborhood. I get that you harbor no hope and have no dreams for this City, but many of us do. We're left with two choices: let it decay, or fight like hell to make it better. It's a good thing there are folks like Zeke who are choosing the latter.


Zeke van de Bean?

Tony Wilkins

Billy, I was downtown today too.

I arrived at The Red Onion for a lunch meeting.

28 minutes later I was able to walk in the door due to lack of parking.

Is it always like that or do I just not know my way around that block? I eventually parked on the third floor of the Washington Street parking garage.

The hot dog was real good.

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