Updated: 3/7/2006; 11:19:18 PM.

   Hogg's Blog

            David Hoggard's take on local politics and life in general from Greensboro, NC

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Click here...

....to go to  my new WordPress site.  

Also,  please change your bookmarks and blogrolls to read www.hoggsblog.com.... or www.davidhoggard,com.

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A group of citizens and city staff started work on a new noise ordinance for Greensboro way back in July of '04.  A final draft of the proposed law was completed and recommended by the group in April of '05.  After all of that input and effort, City Attorney Terry Wood briefed our City Council on the ordinance back on August 23rd of last year.  And then....  silence... but not the kind of silence the ordinance was meant to address.  Our City Council seems to have just put nearly two years worth of work on some dusty shelf.

I realize our Council has important and pressing issues to attend to every other Tuesday, but I am very dissapointed they have seen fit to delay consideration of this citizen-driven initiative by nearly six months after it was presented to them.  One would think that few things are more important to folks hereabouts than the reasonably quiet enjoyment of their everyday (and night) lives; and this is the very thing the proposed ordinance is supposed to provide.

Spring is fast approaching and with it will come all of the noises that started the call for Greensboro to finally adopt our first real noise ordinance.  I urge our city council to dust the thing off and get on with it.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Here it is Saturday morning and I am still in Raleigh.  Mechanical trouble kept me from heading home yesterday afternoon as planned but the needed part to fix my 1977 International Scout is expected in this morning. For the uninformed, International Harvester produced these SUV's precursers so far back that people only knew to call them trucks.

Part of the appeal to me of driving such an ancient piece of machinery is simplicity.  When the thing wouldn't start yesterday morning, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out what was wrong and what was needed to repair it.  No computers, no degree in rocket science... most everything on MY "SUV" can be fixed with a simple set of socket wrenches and a screwdriver.  You can almost stand up inside the engine compartment to make repairs.

The NCSU job is running ahead of schedule, but we are only two weeks into the three month project.  Due to the long hours, my physical detachement from the goings on in Greensboro, and my growing dissatifaction with this blog software, I have again been relegated to a weblog spectator.  But not for long.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Radio Userland hosted blog simply blew up over the weekend.  I'm back now, but find no time to say much more than I'm through with Radio.  And this time I really mean it. 

Sue! Help.  Call my IT department post haste.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

I was doing some maintenance to my blog and the operation apparently killed all of the links to any picture I have ever posted.  I'll work to get them back up when I get a few spare hours.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

I read with interest this morning's N&R story about how the voter-approved $3.1B higher education bond money is being spent to improve our local universities.  This interests me because some of that $3.1B is making its way into my company's coffers.  For the uninitiated, my company is called Double Hung and our business is restoring original, historic windows.

On Tuesday, after nearly three months of negotiations, I signed a contract for the largest project we have ever undertaken:  Leazer Hall on the campus of NCSU in Raleigh.

Built in 1911-12, Leazer served as the campus' main dining hall for many decades and is now mainly office and studio space for NC State's College of Design.  This historic building is undergoing an $8.7M bond-financed renovation and is slated to be placed back into service this coming June, which is about how long we will be working in Raleigh.  (Here's some more pictures)

During my intitial meetings with the architects in October, they related how the university was dead-set on replacing all 154 windows in the structure - including 48 round, and half-round treasures shown above.  So, after some intitial hesitance, I worked up pricing from four window vendors for comparable replacement sashes and they all came in over $500k - plus another $100k or so to fix the existing frames and install the new sashes. 

Along with the requested pricing proposal for new sashes, I slipped in a rough estimate for what it would cost to restore all of the structure's original windows.  It was my aim to provide the university with some comparison pricing before they decided to send the old sashes to the landfill. 

As a part of my restoration estimate, I related a strong opinion that Leazer's historic, wavy-glass-laden fenestration would be good-to-go for another 100 years with just a little care from my company; this is due to the quality of the lumber utilized and craftsmanship rarely found in typical modern replacement windows.   Compare this to the expected 25-year service life of windows constructed of farm-grown pine.  The kicker?  The complete restoration and weather stripping all of Leazer's extraordinary original windows would cost North Carolina's taxpayers less than half the price of installing comparable replacement windows.

To their immense credit, the powers-that-be at NCSU finally took me up on my restoration proposal.  Chalk one up for preservation and the taxpayers.

I have rented a furnished apartment in Raleigh for me and my crew.  The initial lease term is for three months, but the project could easily go to four.  So if I seem a bit detached from local goings-on in the coming months, now you will know why.  But its all good because Double Hung is off to 'fix the winders'.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

If you thought the Hoggards were a one sport clan, you would be wrong.  My children's sporting life did not end with Grimsley's football team playing in the state championship back in December.

I think it was the day after that disappointing loss when Jackson and the Grimsley lacrosse team began 'informal' training for the upcoming season which officially begins this month.  Since a freshman, Jack has been known as "The Enforcer" on the Whirlie squad because of his penchant for taking opponents flat OUT when the opportunity presents itself.  Grimsley lacrosse is populated with many players from the school's 4-A state runner-up football team, even all-stater Robert Lane came out this year.  Whirlie lacrosse is touted by some to be a strong contender for the state championship.  

When not practicing lacrosse, Jack dons his goalie gear and heads out the Greensboro Sportsplex to stand in front of 90 m.p.h. pucks. He plays indoor roller hockey for two teams.  I'm telling you - that kid ain't right.

As for Josie, she and Grimsley's JV basketball team ended their season with a loss to Northwest Guilford last night.  Even with that, her team ended with a stellar 14-5 season, which bodes well for the varsity Lady Whirlies to continue their Metro 4-A winning ways in the years to come.  My freshman daughter's experience playing basketball and football (you read that right) for Aycock Middle over the past couple of years helped land her a non-starting, but high-play-time, power forward position this year for Grimsley... and she excelled.

Today Josie begins try outs and practice for her true sporting love as a catcher on Grimsley's varsity softball team.  The Whirlies catcher is a senior, so the coach is making noises about needing an understudy and stepping her up to play with the big girls and skipping JV altogether.  She's that good.

Jesse is no couch potato either.  Since AAU baseball is in a lull, he's playing for a very fine YMCA basketball team and has done very well for his first time out in the cage.  Being a sixth grader, he is not yet eliglible to participate in any of the sports teams at Aycock Middle.  But next year - Katie bar the door.

But the big sports excitment in his life comes early next month.  For several years he has bugged the hell out of me to see if I can help land him a spot as a 'ball boy' for the ACC Tournament here in Greensboro.  A while ago I mentioned his persistance to a friend with connections to the tournamnet and he was able to hook Jesse right up.  Look for our youngest while watching this year's ACC Woman's Tournament on TV beginning March 2nd..  He'll be the guy wiping the sweat off the floor while smiling from ear-to-ear.

Other than that, the Hoggard kids pretty much just sit around and navel gaze.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Billy has found my dream car right here in Greensboro (make that High Point).  I first saw GEM's during my trip to Florida this summer and fell in love with their quirkiness and practicality.  I'm gonna get me one of them as soon as my ship comes in.
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It is time to lawyer up, Greensboro. "N&R: ...Expenses for the police scandal will most likely be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars."

What a wonderful time to be an attorney for a Wraygate related client in the Gate City.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Councilwoman Goldie Wells denies having called Rhino Times editor John Hammer and his parents (and by extension, me and mine) racists according to the N&R's Inside Scoop.

Meanwhile, here is the letter (p1, p2) that the Rhino published from not-yet-elected-to-council Wells.  This was sent to members of our City Council just days after their April 19th 6-3 vote to oppose the Truth & Reconciliation 'process'.   The Inside Scoop post above relates that Goldie owns up to sending the letter and further admits, "I was very upset at that time."  Ya think?

Meanwhiler, in the comments to yesterday's related post, Truth & Rec director Jill Williams provides some thoughts and Phred says this racists-are-everywhere thing is deja vu all over again with a little history lesson.

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Offered below are the three options that the War Memorial Stadium Task Force is currently considering.  Although they will likely undergo a bunch of refinements to determine details and costs of each option, these are the three structural configurations that will likely go before our City Council when all is said and done.  The Council will have the final say on which option will be offered to the voters in the form of a bond referendum, probably this November. 

The architects have assured the Task Force that the stadium will retain its National Registry status under all three scenarios, which were developed since our last meeting.

In addition, all three scenarios incorporate the wonderful idea of redefining the old stadium's future useage within the context of a new city park as previously discussed.  A newly added feature is the possible addition of a lawn area behind center/left field suitable for croquet or bocce ball matches.

Option 1 calls for a total of only 1500 seats, Option 2, 2000, and Option 3 plans for 2500. (click hyperlinks for larger images). 

Under all three options, the part of the stadium's footprint depicted in red would be demolished.  In its place is proposed a new structure to house new locker rooms, concessions, rest rooms and maintenance facilities.  This would be constructed behind the stadium's original facade, and its roof would approximate the profile of the original seating bowl.

Under both of the above options, large segments of the original structure would not be demolished (renovation depicted in purple), but would not be available for seating either.  They would be fenced off and 'mothballed' for possible future expansions and renovations.  However, due to the advanced deterioration of these 'mothballed' sections, especially down the third base line, the demolition of large parts of the stadium are probably just being postponed - not averted.  Option 2 proposes a small rebuilt seating section and is shown in blue.  

Option 3 doesn't postpone what is, in all likelihood, the inevitable...

Here, a large segment of the third base seating would be removed and not replaced.  Although there are discussions to creatively retain the original exterior wall as well as some of the 'bones' of the original construction elements of the demolished section - such as columns and raker beams - a new public plaza would be created where the original seating bowl currently stands.  The only sections of the original stadium that would remain and undergo renovation/reconstruction under Option 3 are depicted in pink.

The notes from the January 30th Task Force meeting can be found here.  I will provide my thoughts on the three schemes later... but right now, it is your turn.

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I won't have much to add to what Cone and Roch have have already said about today's N&R article entitled  "Bloggers' Exuberance Declines Considerably" except to say I agree with both of them and disagree with Marta Hummel's depiction of the local blogosphere. 

Marta didn't use much of the material she got from me either except for the fact that my blog was down at the time of the interview.  If it had fit her premises, readers would have heard me say that the local blogosphere was simply in a lull at the time of the interview, bloggers will come and bloggers will go - but the overall vitality of the local 'sphere remains as high as it has ever been, and its not at all about the money.

But at least we bloggers are able to dispute the tone and substance of Hummel's article and provide people with context and unpublished portions of our interviews that didn't fit the 'woe is blogging' headline.  You really have to feel sorry for any non-blogging entity who is convinced they weren't given a fair shake in a similarly misleading screed.


Update: John Nagy edited Marta's story and he defends the product over at the N&R's Bizz Buzz blog.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cobb might have the answer to your question.  Take his survey

Michael also has some thoughts on my post concerning Councilwoman Wells, John Hammer, and those fashionable Undoing Racism seminars.  While some might play fast and loose with what constitutes a racists, Cobb believes "...What matters is their intent. Free your mind and your ass will follow.  If you want to know how, you can start with the Survey..."

It might be time to start a new thread since this one was getting a little long.  These are good conversations to have.  Be sure to read this well-considered comment by Chewie.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

I was looking through my archives for something or another and stumbled upon this 2004 post about how I am a real Republican.  I like it.
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wharton responds to Rhino editor John Hammer's unsatisfying-to-me-too rebuttal to this recent LTE, John's reporting style, and The Rhino in general...

"...his modus operandi at these meetings is to walk in, type madly on his laptop through the whole thing, speak only when spoken to, and leave silently at the end. No interviews, no name-address-phone-number gathering, no . . . journalism."  "...I've learned first-hand not to trust (the Rhino) further than I could kick an anvil in my bare feet."

I concur with my neighbor about the 'locked door'.  I have been to all but one of the WMS Task Force meetings and the door is always propped wide open.

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In today's print edition of the Rhino Times, editor John Hammer takes my councilwoman, Dr. Goldie Wells, to task because she (ed: allegedly) called him a racist.  Hammer reports that Wells, " ... said that I was a racist because I'm white and my parents are white, and my parents taught me to judge people by the color of their skin because my parents are racists."

So that means I must be a racist, too. Right?  My parents are white ... just like John's.  So logic tells me that Dr. Wells is calling my parents racists... just like John's.  But the problem is, my parents are not racists.  Just as John says of his parents in his column, mine did not teach me "...to judge people by the color of their skin..." as my councilwoman accuses without having ever having met them.  To the contrary, I believe it was my dad who coined the phrase "... but by the content of their character" several years before Dr. King uttered those famous words.  Calling my parents racists is offensive.  Moreover, it is just an outright baldfaced lie.

How can it be that it is acceptable for a black person to stereotype me and my parents, and all white people with white parents, by labeling us all as racists when no evidence exists to support such a claim?  I'll tell you why.  Because many otherwise intelligent black people, and many white ones as well, are buying in to a bunch of revisionist horse manure.

In 'Undoing Racism Workshops' around the nation, people are charging good money, and getting it, to tell white people they are all a bunch of closeted racists -  and that is, by-God, that.  During these workshops, the central theme of their re-education effort goes something like this: "Only people with power can be racists, black people have no power so they can't possibly be racists."  Bullcrap.  When, exactly, did we allow a word's definition to be redefined by people who charge $250 a head?

I reject Dr. Wells' (and others') fabricated-for-profit premise of what constitutes a racist mainly because it is unjustifiably hurtful to me personally, but also because black people adhering to such a belief cast themselves as the very thing they purport to 'undo'.  They become the very definition of a racist because they adopt "...a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others".

Simply put, such people are convinced they are superior to all white people because they don't believe they are even capable of harboring the deep-seated racist tendancies they accuse every white person possessing.  That is just so much poppycock (I'm trying to be nice here).

By suggesting they couldn't possibly be racists, black adopters of the 'no power, no racist' philosophy suggest that all black people do not, and cannot, think of themselves as superior to white people.  The black race would truly be a superior race if none among them considered themselves 'above' white people.  I'm convinced many black folks are just like many white folks in that regard.  They are all, undeniably, racists.

So, Dr. Wells, it is fair to say, "Most white folks are racists."  That would be at least a defensible statement in my estimation.  You can also say, "Few black folks are racists.", because that could also be somewhat true.  But you can never say, "All white folks are racists.", any more than you can truthfully say "No black folks are racists."  Both statements are patently false.

Just because you heard some "Undoing Racism" facilitator espouse such rabble and pass it off as fact does not, in any way, make it so. 

Think with your heart on this one Goldie, not with someone else's mind.


Update 2/5:  Cobb aka Michael Bowen weighs in on his own blog... "

"...People without a logical bone in their body have been trying to wordsmith themselves into a fairy-ring of colorblind nirvana for generations in this country. Dollars to donuts Harriett Beecher Stowe didn't get it right herself... "

"So, here's the quick answer for people who get confused over the matter of power and racism. Racism is a moral error. So long as a person is in moral error it doesn't matter what they do. It matters what they think. Most Americans are powerless anyway. What matters is their intent. Free your mind and your ass will follow."

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Troublemaker asks, "Is this necessary?"  No, it is not.  What's more, such inflammatory depictions only serve to divide us further.
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Greensboro101 is in today's Wall Street Journal (not online).  The Marketplace section runs a feature on local weblog advertising and Roch's brainchild is one of two featured sites.  More from Greensboro101.
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Ed Cone weighs in on The State of the County.
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With all of the important news that was the news in today's N&R, only one item made me shake my head in disappointment.  The item of my dismay took up almost the entire front page of today's Life section and asked a question, the answer to which I thought should be settled by now:  Who has the best wings in town?

After I read the headline, I scanned the page for the words I was looking for: Minj Grille.  But noooo....  The N&R staff (depicted while masticating) subjected themselves to a bunch of crappy, gristle infested, bland, over-advertised, under-sized and otherwise inferior under-fed by-products of Mr. Perdue's over-populated chicken farms.  And I feel sorry for them - but that is not the point here.

As a subscriber who depends on the N&R for thoroughness and accuracy, I insist that Jeri Rowe, Ed Hardin and Co. take the short walk from their now grease-covered desks on Market St. down to 310 S. Elm St. (or call 273-5393) and order up some of Minj's crispy-but-saucy, over-sized, "kicked-up" wings - and print an apology and correction in tomorrow's paper.  (Or do it in the comments below).


Update I: For the uninitiated, Minj is an acronym drawn from the first names of the Hill family who own the place. Matt (dad), India (daughter), Niki (mom and sauce inventor) and, I hope I get this one right (ed:I didn't), Jordyn (son).  If I didn't get the 'J' right, I'm sure Niki will correct me.  She has proven to not be shy about making comments here.

Update II: Killian is soon to be a convert.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Greensboro101's spinoff, Altmedia101, is finding more and more success with local and regional advertisers.  Since Roch Smith, Jr. started soliciting ads that show up on many local blogs and the Greensboro101.com site itself, the space reserved in the column to the right -----------> has rarely been devoid of concerns looking to reach a very targeted audience.

What's the target you ask?  Well... the thinking and inquisitive masses, of course.

If have something to promote, go here and find out how to reach the most intelligent audience in Guilford County and beyond: aka people who read weblogs.

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Along with nearly 100 other neighbors, I attended last night's Greensboro Neighborhood Congress sponsored community meeting to hear of newly elected Councilwoman Goldie Well's vision for the city in general and District 2 in particular.  I am happy to report that Dr. Wells sees things very clearly, indeed.

As one of the few council members to rise from a background of neighborhood activism, she speaks the language of community building from a grassroots point-of-view.  For example...

Instead of making a plea for her constituants to lobby for more police officers, she implored those in attendance to "...get out of their comfort zone..." and get to know their neighbors in order to take collective control of where they live.  Instead of depending soley on code enforcement to rid neighborhoods of junked cars and the like, she suggests going up and knocking on the offending neighbor's door and saying, in effect, 'what's wrong with you, man... this is your neighborhood'.  "Get organized...", she urged, "... one person just can't do it on their own."

Dr. Wells' vision, borne of her staunch leadership in closing a long-time East Greensboro fixture - the White Street Landfill, is to "turn trash into treasure".  She reeled off an exhaustive list of "Treasures in District 2".  Among them: 2 local historic districts, 7 National Registry sites, 15 public schools, 3 colleges including the new GTCC campus, and a whole host of first class city facilities including 6 recreation centers, 31 city parks, the War Memorial Stadium/Farmer's Curb Market area, and 2 libraries.  The list went on and on.

She and other council members in attendance made the obvious point that one of the main reasons District 2 is bereft of the type, quality and scope of business that are concentrated in other districts to our west is because we don't look the part.  Our streets are dirtier, many of our houses are unkempt or boarded up for too long, and we have precious few "site ready" locations where businesses can relocate on a few month's notice.

Goldie Wells did a great job of defining a clear vision last night and her message was clear:  District 2 has a lot to offer, so let's get off our duffs pull at the grassroots.  Get organized, accentuate the many positives, get rid of the negatives, and take pride in where you live.

You go girl.  I'm with you.

Update: The Inside Scoop was there also and tells what other members of the city council had to say.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

David Wharton breaks blog silence to take Rhino Times editor John Hammer to task for Thursdays column entitled War Memorial to be Shell of Former Self..  David apparently composed his letter to the editor submission on his blog to give us a sneak peek at his point-by-point refutation of Hammer's accounting of the January 17th War Memorial Task Force committee meeting.

During the work of the Task Force, John has asked me to let him know when the meetings are scheduled, and I have done a pretty poor job of it.  But the meeting are far from a secret.  Because I had written down the wrong start time for the last meeting and passed the erroneous information to John, he and I walked in at the same time: 5:00.  The meeting had started at 4:00.

Although I agree with Wharton that some of Hammer's assertions are unfounded and sensational, the one thing that John got right is the fact that the seating capacity of WMS will, in all likelihood, be significantly reduced. 

We started off with a 6,000 seat stadium, but the options we will be seeing during today's 4:00 meeting will be for only three seating capacities: 1500, 2000 and 2500.  The voices of the few on the committee who are trying to hold out for a higher capacity seem to be in the minority.  A large part of the reason for such a severe seating reduction is because few on the committee can justify the higher cost of a complete 6,000 seat renovation.  This is especially true when Sports Commission director Marc Bush keeps assuring everyone that there really is no need for more than 1000 seats at WMS.  He and I disagree on that point.

I'll have more to say after today's meeting.

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