TEN BEST NEWS STORIES I COULDN’T FULLY COVER
Plans for a community-owned grocery store in northeast Greensboro’s Renaissance Shopping Center continue to unfold, as residents and proponents publicly outlined how they’d like to see the center take shape. Council was scheduled to vote on the issue on Tuesday night but as of press time, no decision had been made yet. Councilman Tony Wilkins asked the city manager if Family Dollar’s plans to expand its grocery options would impact the discussion, but a Family Dollar spokesperson told YES! Weekly that increased grocery options have already been implemented at the store in the mostly desolate Renaissance strip. We’ll be diving more into the issue next week.
According to an emergency action alert sent out by the United Arts Council last week, the NC General Assembly is threatening to further slash funding for the NC Arts Council with “devastating and disproportionate reductions.” Guilford County receives $536,000 in annual funding from the NC Arts Council and the nonprofit art industry in the county generates $5 million in local government revenue, the call to action says.
Here we go again. Greene Street Club owners are suing the city, and SynerG held a discussion with Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann about the noise ordinance last week. Hoffmann brought it up again earlier this year and then dropped it. She also claimed a sit-down meeting between Carroll and Greene Street owners was making headway. Oops. Can this issue be dead yet? City council will hold a public hearing on the noise ordinance at its June 18 meeting.
Council work session
This isn’t what we sometimes refer to as a “slow news week.” On May 30, at the same time as a press conference about immigration reform, the Greensboro City Council held its second of three budget work sessions. On the agenda: Anything left over from the previous meeting and a discussion about the city’s relationship with Downtown Greensboro Inc.
As part of its efforts to raise $150,000 to funding for 125 “cameras on cops,” the Greensboro Police Foundation is undertaking a public-awareness and fundraising campaign that includes eight prominent billboards around the city. Fairway Outdoor Advertising donated the billboard spaces, foundation President Frank Mascia said. Chief Ken Miller challenged the foundation to come up with the funds — one of the department’s top priorities, Mascia said — that would finish equipping all officers in the patrol division with small, mounted cameras.
I’ve started getting several public-information requests related to my cover story about police surveillance of activists, and the few that I’ve combed through so far have been disappointing. After the city implemented stricter public-records screening practices, the number of documents in my requests has plummeted. The city and YES! Weekly still fundamentally disagree about several public records issues, and I’ll be writing more about it in the coming weeks.
New mural finished
The Greensboro Mural Project celebrated the completion of its mural at the Interactive Resource Center on June 1. The vibrant mural, focused on the theme of “Home,” was painted by Justin Poe and follows the project’s first piece on a retaining wall at the Edible Schoolyard. Three cheers for beautiful, collaborative, public art! Where’s the next one going?
The nationally organized “March Against Monsanto” was held May 25, but I was out of town for Memorial Day Weekend. Yes, I had a great time at the Outer Banks, thanks for asking. I saw dolphins, whales, wild horses and even a fox. Anyway, the News & Record reported that more than 300 people attended, a significant turnout especially on a holiday weekend at the mouth of summer.
I Don’t Do Boxes
The Greensboro-based publication primarily for and by queer youth in the South is hosting a launch party for its first issue this Friday at Elsewhere downtown beginning at 6 p.m. The main engines behind the project, Carrie Hart and Chris Kennedy, were gracious enough to let me be one of the editors. The “School’s Out” issue is packed with compelling written and visual work, and I am already looking forward to future issues.
Changes in the office
Last week, YES! Weekly said farewell and bon voyage to ad rep Laurie Powell. Known around the office for her (sometimes quite loud) laugh, Laurie is headed to Asheville with her dog Stella. We’ll miss having her around and wish her all the best. In case you didn’t notice the “YES! List” photo announcing her presence last week, Hannah Fairweather recently joined our staff, replacing office comedian (and Sam Bridges look-a-like) Justin Jackson. She’ll be here full time, and we’re excited about her work, including a revamped “Be there” page.