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by Jordan Green

CITY INITIATES NUISANCE ABATEMENT CASE AGAINST LOST DIMENSIONS

The city of Greensboro has obtained a temporary restraining order against Lost Dimensions and the Bares Den, a duplex of strip clubs, located in the Randleman Road corridor, as a first step in a nuisance abatement case to close the businesses. Two fatal shootings have occurred there in recent years. A city press release states that the restraining order “prevents any illegal activity on the property until a preliminary injunction is held.

“The TRO is a result of a long-term investigation by the Greensboro Police Department,” Chief Tim Bellamy said in a formal statement. “Where unlawful acts occur that threaten the health and safety of this community, GPD is committed to acting aggressively to resolve the matter.”

The city’s civil legal action could result in the elimination of the nuisance at Lost Dimensions/Bares Den, and “the court could close the businesses and prohibit similar businesses from opening at that location, and even prevent the owners from operating similar businesses anywhere in the state,” the press release reported.

WAGE COMMITTEE UNDETERRED BY SETBACK

The Greensboro minimum wage campaign will forge ahead despite an adverse finding by Greensboro City Clerk Betsey Richardson that it failed to gather enough signatures on its petition for a referendum to establish a citywide minimum wage of $9.82, according to a letter sent out to supporters in mid-Jan.

As reported in the letter, a significant number of signatures were declared invalid, putting the campaign 502 signatures short of the 8,438 needed. The threshold is set at 25 percent of the total number of voters in the most recent municipal election before the campaign registered, which happens to be the 2007 election.

The letter informed supporters that “we are examining the disqualified signatures to see if some are actually valid — i f only 12 percent of the signatures that were disqualified are actually valid, then we are back in business on the first issue. The disqualification rate is extraordinarily high, especially for the supplementary signatures we added in December, so we have some hope we will succeed in making the count.”

The campaign faces another hurdle: City Attorney Terry Wood issued a legal opinion, in the wage’s committee’s words, “that the petition asks the city to enact a law that is not within the city’s power to enact.”

The public letter stated that the committee is seeking legal representation to challenge Wood’s argument in court.

FIRST OPENLY GAY BISHOP TO SPEAK IN GREENSBORO

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay and partnered bishop to be ordained in a Christian denomination,will speak at New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Robinson is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. His talk, “Is Tolerance Possible? Is Tolerance Enough?” is part of Guilford College’s annual Religious Emphasis Week. The talk is free, but is expected to be well attended, including by protesters bothered by the bishop’s sexual orientation.

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