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« Strange days indeed | Main | Making things is good business »

Nov 30, 2012


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David Wharton

From the Oxford English Dictionary: "Busker 1. A keen-witted, impudent person: one who obtains money and property ... by pretending to be a pirate."


What is interesting about the Good Appearance ordinance for downtown is that those were persistent issues that came up during the downtown design overlay which property owners fought. The city is right to emphasize its role in regulating the appearance and aesthetics of any buildings fronting public space (i.e., streets.). It is a good step.

What part of the Glenwood info did you find interesting, Ed? Just curious.

Oh, and, yay for buskers.


There goes my dream of juggling fire outside Ed's window - topless.

Ed Cone

Brian, I was happy to see Glenwood in the spotlight -- the neighborhood deserves attention, and so much work has been and is being done there.

I'm curious to know who residents feel about the list of accomplishments and shortfalls in the brief report.


Well, the request for that update was made directly by me at the last City Council meeting. I chose to bite my tongue about the ongoing fiasco that is the City's complicity in favoring empty, vacant, deteriorating, (and condemned) houses over houses that people actually live in. It has been five years since the plan was adopted and I felt a review of what the plan has accomplished was warranted. Honestly, I expected a more detailed review of the plan - a review of each action item rather than a broad brush. There is no doubt good things going on in the neighborhood - come to the Holiday Bazaar today at the Glenwood Rec Center and buy locally made gifts until 4pm, but the point that I think is significant is how small the handprint of the City is on most of those items. We've been bootstrapping it pretty hardcore. Personally, it's great to see S. Elm, Southside, the PAC, etc. get so much attention and dollars, but Glenwood is grappling with the single most significant redevelopment in the City's modern history (maybe ever) in the form of the UNCG redevelopment and all we got was a couple of charettes. Like I said at Council, we're resilient and we'll keep doing what we need to do, but a little bit more proactive help from the City shouldn't be so difficult to obtain.

For humor, take a look at this example.


Further...I'm a proponent of the downtown university center, but I can't help but think how far $75,000 would go in our neighborhood for some consulting help.


Man arrested as Greensboro benches removed


Peggy Hickle

While I love Brian's civic spirit -- and his enthusiasm for benches -- I'm pretty sure that Action Greensboro was never planning to remove the benches completely, but was always planning to just move them to the more public place they are now. The story of the "why" behind that that I heard may well be apocryphal, but if true, seems reasonable. I heard that hookers were using the benches in their original position to service their clients -- in view of the kids whose backyards faced the Greenway, and that there were some very irate community members.

In my walks on the Greenway now, I never see any hookers -- or anyone else sitting on those benches.


Peggy - Therein lies the problem. The hookers story is urban folklore. Of course, there is more to the story...and I'm not willing to rehash it here...again.

David Hoggard


I LOVE that link to the SeeClickFix app. Never heard of it before but it looks like the City is responding (albeit, not satisfactorily every time). Who instigated the process?

Hook me up on that thing. I "see" things all the time here in Aycock but generally don't take the time to report and follow up. Would be great to click 'em and get 'em fixed My email is dhoggard@triad.rr.com.


SeeClickFix is a free mobile app. I've got in on my Android phone. I read about in one of the urban planning journals, e-zines or list-serves that I subscribe to as part of my work. I tried it out and lo and behold, the City Contact Center was connected to it, so a few of us in Glenwood beta tested it and have received pretty good response from the Contact Center. What I like best about it is that it tracks the conversation in a very public way - more so than emails and phone calls. It's one thing to complain to the City about response times on certain nuisance issues. It's another thing be able to point out - via SeeClickFix - that in 30 days they obviously never went out to tag the van.

Peruse the SeeClickFix site - people around the country have been doing some pretty interesting stuff with it. Their FB page has been mentioning how many have been using it in the aftermath of Sandy.


Brian, if I ever meet you, I intend to buy you a beer.

Peggy Hickle

Hmmmmm, Brian -- my source on that story was pretty genuine so I'd love to hear the rest of it. But yeah, no need to rehash it here. Let's do that privately. And no -- I still haven't found a house. :(

Ed Cone

I spent some time with the neighbors who complained about the bench -- women who live directly across from the site -- and would be interested in learning more about Brian's dismissal of their complaints.

Ben Holder

Brian knew what was best for those people, Ed. How dare those black women that lived beside the benches claim to know what was true and what was not. Who cares how they felt. Brain showed us all when he sat on that rock and got arrested. We all need Brian to come explain our lives to us. He is truly God's gift to Greensboro.

Ben Holder

How many black people show up for the Glenwood Neighborhood Meetings?


Brian's reasoning appears to have been misplaced,
but he did something.

That's more than the overwhelming majority of the population.

Imagine what could occur if folks like Brian
do something about what may actually matter.


Everyone has a right to their story about the removal of the art installation. I am confident that re-litigating it here will do nothing to change that. I frankly do not care what others think about the action I took that day. Move on already.

Ed Cone

I applaud the action you took that day, Brian. I like your passion and think you have brought a lot to public affairs.

But you dismissed the claims of neighbors -- just yesterday, right here -- and I found those neighbors to be credible individuals when I spoke with them in person, so I was wondering what evidence you had to dispute their claims.


Ed, if it is going to keep you up at night, I'll indulge you...just not here.

Bill Bush

A couple of years ago at Merlefest, I went to the band Scythian's busking workshop. It was fun to learn how much thought and method exists in the buskers' informal union. I recommend the experience if it is repeated at Merlefest this spring.

Peggy Hickle

Not ragging on you, Brian -- I hope you know how much I value you and your efforts. Just curious. Because semantics often get in the way, though, I do want it to be perfectly clear for those who may not know that the benches are happily residing on the Downtown Greenway -- just in a different spot than where they were originally installed. They would appreciate being visited. They reside right above the parking lot where Freeman Mill exits off to Lee.

On another note, a day in which I find any/all of the members of Scythian busking -- in any definition of the term -- in downtown GSO will be a very good day for Pegs.

Ben Holder

We did move on and so did the bench. Have a good one, Sparky!

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