Entertainment, Government, Travel

A Thousand Words and 30 Rounds on Gun Rights

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Government, Social Media

Everyone Celebrating NC’s Low Unemployment Rate Except News & Record

NC Unemployment Rate Drops Below National Average to 6.2%.  “April unemployment rate falls to 6.2 percent in NC” is the headline most papers used.  N&R’s headline reads “Still ‘some room to go’ for North Carolina’s economy.”

Why do hundreds of headlines celebrate the unemployment rate drop, but the N&R takes a glass half-empty approach.  Would the headline be the same if Democrats were in power in NC?

Some of the other headlines for that AP story from around the country:

Unemployment Declines in Carolinas Far Outpace US – Wall Street Journal

State unemployment rate falls to new low

Unemployment continues to drop, state added jobs

April unemployment numbers show more people at work

 

News & Record's Headline  About Unemployment Rate Drop in NC

News & Record’s Headline About Unemployment Rate Drop in NC

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Congressman Coble and Phil Berger, Jr. after the Endorsement
Government

U.S. Congressman Howard Coble officially endorses Phil Berger, Jr. for his NC 6th District Seat

United States Congressman Howard Coble officially endorsed Phil Berger, Jr. for his NC 6th District Seat this morning at Berger’s Greensboro headquarters.

UPDATE - VIDEO OF COBLE’S ENDORSEMENT

Congressman Coble and Phil Berger, Jr. after the Endorsement

Congressman Coble and Phil Berger, Jr. after the Endorsement

Phil talked about Howard’s hard work, dedication to the people of NC, honesty, and friendship.  He laughed with Howard about having to learn all the school mascots to carry on that tradition.

“It is a personal and professional honor to have our Congressman, Howard Coble, offer such kind words on my behalf.  He has become a mentor to me, and I cherish his friendship and his wise counsel” Berger said.

Phil hopes to fill Howard’s big shoes by providing the same level of constituent services from his office as they have received from Howard’s.  He also hopes to retain his staff so that they can continue to serve the 6th district.

“The name on the stationary may change, but Howard’s legacy of constituent services will remain as long as I am your congressman” said Berger.  “As the primary point of contact with the federal government for many Americans, a congressional office can be a lifeline, providing answers and solutions for veterans, business owners, families, and concerned citizens.”

“This election provides the people of the 6th district with a choice. I would ask all of Howard’s supporters to join our positive, conservative campaign. I am proud that Howard Coble has chosen to support a proven conservative to replace him in Congress. Howard, thank you.”

“Thank you all for coming and may God continue to bless this great nation.”

@HowardCoble @PhilBergerJr

Congressman Coble with Phil Berger, Jr. and his sons

Congressman Coble with Phil Berger, Jr. and his sons

Media setting up at Coble Endorsement

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Congressman Coble and Phil Berger, Jr. after the Endorsement
Government

VIDEO of Congressman Howard Coble’s Endorsement of Phil Berger, Jr. for his 6th District Seat

Video of Congressman Coble’s Endorsement of Phil Berger, Jr. for his 6th District Seat.

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Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit
Government, UNC

Do Students Want a Degree or a Career?

“You shouldn’t measure success by how many students are coming in and even graduating. We should measure success by how many students are getting jobs. Especially, jobs that they study for.”

Said Governor McCrory, Tuesday night at Methodist University’s Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit to a group that included Fayetteville State University Chancellor Anderson and the President of Methodist University.

The Fayetteville Observer has the full story.

Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit

Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit

I believe that people go to school to learn skills that will enable them to be successful in their careers.  They’re also choosing to invest a significant amount of money for that education.  The schools need to deliver a solid Return on Investment to the students (and anyone else that’s helping to pay for that education).

A rewarding career in a chosen field is a primary metric.

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This is Your Brain on Drugs
Government, UNC

Is the News & Record on Drugs?

The Greensboro News & Record speculates that UNCG police helping arrest drug dealers in the Glenwood neighborhood may be viewed as a bad thing by area residents.  Really?  Are they on drugs?

Residents of the area may see UNCG police operations as yet another infringement on their neighborhood.” – Greensboro News & Record Article.

Yes! Weekly provides more coverage including photos of the suspects and the full police release.

UPDATE 4/28/14 – Britton St House is Next to Elementary School:

Britton House Near Elementary School

Britton House Near Elementary School

 

UPDATE 2/29/14:  News & Record writes a new story in today’s paper – much more on point – discussing positives of campus police working to improve a neighborhood.

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UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page
Government, UNC

UNC Board of Governors Meeting Materials April 2014

The UNC Board of Governors Meeting Materials for the April 10th-11th 2014 meeting are available as of April 7th.  The BOG received a package of approximately 600 pages the afternoon of Friday, April 4th.  It includes hot links to additional documents.  In the interest of transparency, I’m posting information about the public items.

April 2014 BOG Meeting Materials – image of webpage with agenda items

Meeting Materials can be viewed here

Some Initial Items of Note from the Audit and Budget & Finance Committees Include:

Audit – Item 3 – Audit Reports Released Since Last Meeting – including ECSU Long Distance Charges Audit and others.

Budget and Finance – Item 2 – Athletics Financial Transparency, Item 4 – Bonds for UNCG Recreation Center,  Item 5 – Tuition Bill Transparency, and Item 14 – FY 2013-14 Budget Management.

UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page

UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page

Please add your comments and concerns.  I am still reviewing all the materials and will post more items later.

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Aerial Map of Greensboro, NC - 1 mile rings around Grocery Stores, Blue indicates Food Deserts
Government, Real Estate, Restaurants/Food

A Developer’s Approach to Solving Food Deserts – Part One

How do you solve the problem of food deserts?  Income levels, education, grocery store locations, mobile markets, and transportation all play a part in the solution.

The USDA defines what’s considered a food desert as a “low-access community”(read lack of transportation) with at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract’s population residing more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).

You can view the location of food deserts with the USDA Food Desert Mapping Tool.  Here’s a screenshot of Greensboro’s food deserts as last updated and published online.

USDA Food Desert Map of Greensboro, NC

USDA Food Desert Map of Greensboro, NC

We’ve been able to lessen the food desert areas with grocery store projects in the last few years including Li Ming Global Mart at High Point Rd/Holden, Save-A-Lot at Yanceyville/Cone, and other grocery stores in the city.  The Wal-Mart projects at Cone/29 and S. Elm/I-840 have provided grocery options in prior food deserts as well.

Here’s an aerial map of Greensboro, NC that my company Kotis Properties produced, showing all grocery stores with a 1-mile ring around them.  The blue area is what remains of food desert areas outside the ring.  It also factors in current USDA food desert data that varies from the online tool above.  My market research staff create tools like this to help explain the Greensboro market to grocery stores that we hope to recruit to the area.

Aerial Map of Greensboro, NC - 1 mile rings around Grocery Stores, Blue indicates Food Deserts

Aerial Map of Greensboro, NC – 1 mile rings around Grocery Stores, Blue indicates Food Deserts

You will note that the bulk of the food desert areas are in Northeast Greensboro.  It visually demonstrates what people in East Greensboro have been saying for the past few years – that they want and need grocery stores.  One of our new projects – at the intersection of Wendover and the Outer Loop (I-840) should help to solve the food desert problem in that area.  Additional solutions may be Phillips Avenue or South Elm/Lee.  The challenge is convincing grocery stores to locate there as they tend to focus on higher profit and lower risk potential locations (more in a future post).

It’s interesting to note that both UNCG and Bennett College are both considered food deserts.  That’s something I plan to explore further.

In the absence of a full blown grocery store, people tend to shop in convenience stores or dollar stores.  Those often offer less variety and at a higher cost.  However stores like Sheetz have broken the mold with a much broader offering.

There are three solutions to food deserts – transportation (including low cost cars), income level of the residents, and close proximity of groceries.  

One novel approach is the idea of bringing groceries to people via a mobile food truck concept.  There is a farm food truck concept in Raleigh called LoMo Market.  It makes around 40 stops per week in different areas.  NC A&T could work on something like this as well given that they have a large University farm.

LoMo Market Trailer and Truck

LoMo Market Trailer and Truck

Inside of the LoMo Market Trailer with Webpage Scheduling

Inside of the LoMo Market Trailer with Webpage Scheduling

I saw an expanded version of this concept outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  A caravan of farm trailers were pulled by trucks to various neighborhoods on certain days.  The various trailers included produce, meat, fish, and general merchandise.  The idea of a mobile grocery store or farmers market is an immediate solution to food deserts.

A Mobile Farmers Market in Argentina - Trailers Pulled by Trucks to a Neighborhood

A Mobile Farmers Market in Argentina – Trailers Pulled by Trucks to a Neighborhood

Meat and Eggs at the Argentine Mobile Farm Trailers

Meat and Eggs at the Argentine Mobile Farm Trailers

In the short term, the city should explore measures designed to encourage grocery store development, farmer’s markets and mobile farm trucks in food desert areas.  It should also look at the long term solution of educating and empowering people in those areas.

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Casey Mann, new NC Democratic Party Executive Director
Government

Will the Democratic Party be the Party of Workers, Unions, NAACP and Hagan?

Triad City Beat interviews the new North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director, Casey Mann, from Greensboro, NC.

Casey Mann, new NC Democratic Party Executive Director

Casey Mann, new NC Democratic Party Executive Director

Mann has a few noteworthy quotes in the article (in bold below, then my comments follow hers with a dash):

“When you look at the Democratic Party, we’re the party of teachers, workers, people working two jobs.” – Two jobs will likely be the norm with ACA implementation – it looks like they are trying to get out in front of it and shift blame away from ACA.

“Tax check-off money, which was a huge part of our operating budget every year, allowed it to be a way where the state party doled out the money that was needed.” – Unions or Associations could provide an alternative source of funding.

“[State NAACP President] Rev. Barber has done a phenomenal job with the Moral Monday movement and the values he is expressing are the values of the Democratic Party. I was actually at the first Moral Monday when it was all of 47 people.”

“Democrats have been in power for over 100 years so… it’s kind of a change of mentality to “How do we win seats? How do we make strides?”” 

“We actually work very closely with the Kay Hagan campaign to make sure they have what they need and we work back and forth. I am on the phone with them every day.”

 “These little pockets of opportunity actually help Kay Hagan as well.”

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Jon Hardister Shooting AR-15
Government

Exclusive Video: Rep. Jon Hardister Shooting in Summerfield

How do you know if a politician is really an advocate of the Second Amendment and Gun Rights?  “Shoot” him with a gun.

Jon’s a great sport and shooter, so when we were out on my range target shooting, I asked if he’d be up for a couple of photos and short video clip.  

Jon was shooting a Beretta 92F 9mm, Ruger Red Label Over and Under 12 gauge Shotgun, and a Bushmaster 5.56/.223 AR-15 with EOtech Optics.  He’s a great shot.  Perhaps we should have a candidate forum where gun handling/safety and shooting ability is measured.

Jon Hardister with Beretta 92F

Jon Hardister with Beretta 92F

Jon Hardister with Ruger Red Label Over and Under Shotgun

Jon Hardister with Ruger Red Label Over and Under Shotgun

Jon Hardister looking through Optics of AR-15

Jon Hardister looking through Optics of AR-15

Representative Jon Hardister clearly supports the Second Amendment.  I’ll be voting to re-elect him as my Representative to the NC House of Representatives District 59.  To find your District – click here.  Jon’s district spans from North Guilford County around to most of Eastern Guilford County.

Map of NC House of Representatives District 59

Map of NC House of Representatives District 59

NC House District 59 Representative Jon Hardister

NC House District 59 Representative Jon Hardister

Amendment II – Bill of Rights

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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