Tag Archives: piedmont triad

Nathan Tabor vs. Govenor Spencer: Let’s Go To the Videotape

You've all probably seen the video of the fight between Forsyth Republican head honcho Nathan Tabor and a guy named Govenor Spencer.  The video that made the rounds of the web appears to only show Spencer hitting Tabor, but over in Greensboro Roch has done a little CSI-like magic with the video and it appears that Tabor may have taken the first swing. 

Now Tabor has already admitted that he shoved Spencer first, because Spencer allegedly pushed his wife (Spencer denies it).  What Roch's video reconstruction shows is that Tabor may have actually taken a swing at Spencer, not just shoved him. As Roch points out the full videos from both cameras on the scene will need to be analyzed for the court proceedings (both men have filed assault charges against each other) and it will be interesting to see what comes out when that happens.

Congrats to a/perture

Looks like Lawren and crew over at a/perture are making a nice splash in the Triad.  They won "Runner Up" in the "Best Blog" and "Best Facebooker" categories in Yes! Weekly's Best of 2010 survey.  Oh, and probably a little more important to them, they were "Noteworthy" in the "Best Cinema" category.

I'm still trying to get down there for beer and a movie.  Maybe next week I'll finally get the chance.

Things Are Getting Better, but…

The Dixon Hughes Triad Business Index for March, 2010 shows that the local economy is improving, but it's not by much and we've got a heckuva long way to go before we can say things are good.  It will be interesting to see what happens in real estate when the stimulus plan expires at the end of this week, but when you read this from the report you wonder how much worse it can get (knock on wood):

At the end of the 1st quarter of 2010, the inventory of homes on the market was 9,098, or 6.3 times the number of homes sold in the 1st quarter.  At the current sales pace, it will take 18.9 months to exhaust the existing inventory.  The number of existing homes offered for sale was up 16.5% from what it was at the end of the 4th quarter, and it was 9.5% higher than at the end of the 1st quarter one year ago. 

The price of the average home sold in the 1st quarter was down 2.8% from the previous quarter.  The average quality-adjusted price of an existing home in the Triad was $158,718.  The average this quarter was down 1.7% from the average recorded in the 1st quarter of last year.  By comparison, over the past year, consumer prices nationally have risen 2.2%.

Trust and Judgment

Today offered another one of those lessons you learn early but need to be reminded of often: leaping to conclusions usually lands you in the wrong place.  I was at lunch and the person I was sitting next to, someone whom I trust, started talking about the ongoing situation here in the Piedmont Triad between Waffle House Inc. and its (now former) local franchisee.  Long story short the local franchisee got out of the business and in the process some employees were issued paychecks that bounced.  Fingers were pointed, but early on the local franchisee looked like the bad guy.

Now it's important to provide some context here.  People in the Triad who pay attention to these kinds of things are likely predisposed to believing the worst in any story about employees being given rubber checks, because another local company recently went out of business, and in the process the owner really did screw his employees out of pay and health benefits. 

At lunch I was hearing from a trusted source that the Waffle House franchisee was one of the most honorable and ethical business people she had ever met.  Knowing what I know about the source, and knowing the number of people she knows in the business community, my angle on the story instantly shifted 180 degrees. After reading the initial coverage of the story I'd just assumed that the franchisee had gotten in too deep and had done what lots of companies do in that situation: tried to hold on and pray for a miracle while telling the employees nothing of the problems and then eventually bouncing paychecks. I also assumed that stories of delinquent payroll taxes would soon follow. A one minute conversation at lunch changed my assumptions, and I began to think that there's probably a whole lot more to the story and I probably needed to reserve judgment until the situation was fully aired.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think the media did any faulty reporting.  The stories I read simply stated the facts: employees' paychecks bounced, the state's labor department was investigating and if they found any wrongdoing they were going to go after the franchisee for the employees' pay.  I did the rest of the work myself, leaping to conclusions and letting my own biases take me to an early, and potentially faulty, conclusion.  Luckily I was saved from myself today.

After lunch I got back to my desk and found this story waiting in my alert box. It seems that my source at lunch was right and it's the folks at Waffle House Inc. who haven't been behaving too well in this case, at least to this point.  And that's where I need to remember another lesson: there's usually more to a story than meets the eye, and it will probably be a while before we have the full story here.  Stay tuned. 

Summerfield Town Council Has an Interesting Perspective on Marriage

According to The Northwest Observer the Summerfield Town Council has decided that the spouses of Council members may serve on town committees but they can't be voting members.  From the article:

Council began discussing the issue after Town Manager Michael Brandt recommended that council members’ relatives be allowed to serve only as nonvoting committee members. Brandt said because of their relationship to council members, relatives might carry more weight on committees and it might be difficult for the town manager to discipline them if they did something wrong.

The Council applied the recommendation to spouses but not to other relatives, which leads me to think that they have a different point of view on marriage than I do.  I can guarantee you that of all her relatives I'm the least influential on my wife.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when someone tries to tell my wife she can't do anything just because she happens to be married to me.  Actually, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that explosion because I'd definitely catch some shrapnel, but you get my point.

Split Google Loyalties

Today I attended the Linking Winston-Salem luncheon and part of the program was a plea to support the Winston-Salem effort to get Googled. Winston-Salem is a little late getting started with its public push, especially when you compare it to Greensboro's weeks old effort, but I guess it's better late than never, and since I live in the Winston-Salem burbs I'm happy to see them going for it.

On the other hand thanks to my job and my long-time interest in the Greensboro blog community I've also been invited to participate in their various Google-wooing efforts.  Typical of Greensboro they've been working out the kinks in public, but they seem to be making decent headway.

I've been thinking about this and I've come to the conclusion that I can't be the only one who's in this situation.  I'm guessing that since this isn't an election I can vote for as many municipalities as I want, but I'm also guessing that Greensboro and Winston-Salem could be missing an opportunity.  Wouldn't a consolidated, regional effort for the Triad make a lot of sense to Google?  I haven't studied the requirements in depth so I don't know if this is even an option, but if it is I can think of a lot of compelling reasons for a Piedmont Triad effort:

  • The combination of all the higher ed institutions in the Triad is pretty impressive (Wake, UNCG, Winston-Salem State, NC A&T, High Point U, Salem College, Greensboro College, UNCSA, etc.)
  • The combination of all the large, public corporations between the two cities
  • Each of the cities is doing some pretty cool economic development on its own (FedEx and HondaJet in Greensboro, PTRP in Winston-Salem) but when considered together the efforts seem even more impressive

That's just three positives off the top of my head, and I'm sure that there are people who will let me know if I'm all wet, but I still have to ask if a joint effort has even been contemplated?

I do realize that Google's basic info page says "We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people" and that even if you combined only Greensboro and Winston-Salem you'd be awful close to the upper limit so the entire Triad would obviously exceed it.  Still, if Google's going to wire multiple mid-sized cities wouldn't it be of interest to them to do a couple in close proximity for purely logistical reasons?  And if that's the case wouldn't it make sense for the various players in the Triad to throw in together to make a really, really compelling case with Google?  Just askin'.

Triad Restaurant Week

Here's something I can definitely get into.  It's Triad Restaurant Week from November 13-22 and there are plenty of good restaurants participating in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point.  The participating restaurants are providing specially priced three course meals.  Since I hit all three cities at some point in any given week this gives me a great excuse to eat out.  A lot.  Like I need an excuse.

Thanks to Sarah South for the link.