Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here is the Catawba County Chamber's Young Professional's Survey

Catawba County Chamber of Commerce President Danny Hearn asked me to reach out to my readership with the Young Professional Survey being conducted by the Chamber of Commerce. I have referenced this survey a couple times here on the Hound and in the address I made to the City Council last week. Danny says that the survey is being conducted to find out what will keep the young people here and how they feel about Catawba County.

The Chamber is centering this survey on 19 to 44 year olds. They want you to be in that age bracket in order to take the survey. You should also currently either live here, or if you live outside the county, they want you to be employed here in order to fill it out.

 To access the survey, you can either click the hyperlink below OR use any QR Scanner app on an iOS/Android mobile device/tablet to scan the QR code below.

Here is the survey:

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Lindsay M. Keisler, IOM
Senior Vice President
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce
1055 Southgate Corporate Park SW
Hickory, NC 28601
**NEW DIRECT LINE: 828-431-7223

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Attracting the Younger Generations to this Community

Last Week, I spoke before the Hickory City Council in relation to what the Millennial Generation wants from a community. As many know who have followed this site, I have pressed this issue since before the inception of the Hickory Hound. I saw anecdotal evidence of the losses of the younger generations from family and friends leaving the area to seek opportunities elsewhere. Generation X and Y have been saying thanks, but no thanks to this community for a while now.

The local Powers that Be argued against what I was espousing. To put it simply, they said it was easier to target/market to/recruit what they termed active Seniors. Many of the PTB said it was nearly impossible to get the younger people to stay here, as though we should just give up. The economy and the demographics continued to worsen until they came to a realization... hey, maybe we need to try and get more young people to come and hang around here. Problem is that they are taking shots in the dark to make that happen. Deal is that it's more about the mindset around here than anything else, but what would one expect when 60 and 70 year olds are calling all the shots and their hired guns are only interested in keeping those millionaire style paychecks flowing. And following orders is easier to keep that happening, than taking chances, saying what needs to be said, and doing what needs to be done. We have to have policies that move us towards the goal. Instead what I have seen is the same ole local good ole boy economics, where it's not about buttering the bread, but about whose bread is going to get buttered.

I put this article together so that you will understand that what I spoke about last week wasn't off the top of my figmented imagination. I've looked into these issues for years, but don't take my word for any of it. Please do your own research. Enough for ranting, here's what I found:

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014 - My Birthday Speech

What Millennials Want In The Workplace (And Why You Should Start Giving It To Them) - Forbes - Rob Asghar - January 13, 2014 - Gutfreund says that Intelligence Group studies of millennials have found that:
· 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.

· 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.

· 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.

· 74% want flexible work schedules.

· And 88% want “work-life integration,” which isn’t the same as work-life balance, since work and life now blend together inextricably.

Millennials are, in essence, “venture consumers,” Gutfreund says. They’re not looking to fill a slot in a faceless company, any more than a good venture capitalist is looking to toss money at a faceless startup. They’re looking strategically at opportunities to invest in a place where they can make a difference, preferably a place that itself makes a difference.

What Millennials Want Most: A Career That Actually Matters  - Forbes - Barry Salzberg, the global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited - July 3, 2012 - ...Never mind the still sluggish job market. In their insistence on social principle, many millennials are not driven by money or success in quite the way their parents were. This generation wants to know what your organization stands for in improving society, what it stands for in action, as opposed to blowing smoke. Millennials want to know how they will make a positive difference in the world if they join your business, not by wearing a colorful T-shirt on a special project once a year but in their actual work.                                     Did I mention that this media-savvy generation is also jaded and suspicious? Unimpressed by title, well-traveled, and immune to P.R. in the old sense?  To anyone who imagines their heartstrings can be nimbly plucked, good luck.                               In August 2011, for example, students at top American schools—Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Stanford—were complaining about their peers going into finance and consulting, professions in which 25% of Yale grads launch their careers. They called such choices a “brain drain,” or “a tragedy of wasted minds,” as one Dartmouth undergrad put it. Deloitte signed up some 49,000 minds last year, so naturally this got my attention.                             We did some original research and discovered that these attitudes, conflicted as they can be, also reflect remarkable optimism and resilience, including an admirable willingness to tackle, head-on, society’s biggest issues. A slacker generation this is not.                    My organization examined the opinions of 1,000 millennials at Deloitte member firms regarding the impact of business on society. We found that more than half of them believe that in the future business will have a greater impact than anyone else in solving society’s biggest challenges.                     And 86% of them believe business will have at least as much potential as government to meet society’s challenges. Clearly, taken as a whole, millennials do not see business as a waste...

Millennials want more out of work - Young people change jobs frequently in search of fulfillment, flexibility - Chicago Tribune - Lisa Black - June 17, 2014 - ...About half of all American millennials are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for a job, Schawbel noted.                         About 21 million millennials live at home with their parents, he said. Many carry heavy student loan debt. And some are forced to constantly look for a better job — or work two or three part-time gigs at a time — simply to earn a living wage.                              "Allegiance to companies virtually doesn't exist among people my age because companies have made benefits so negligible," said one friend, who, at 28, has changed jobs already five times. I am not identifying her because I'd rather not expedite her move to Job No. 6.                           "We're just trying to survive in companies that don't care about employees like they used to," my friend said. "The days of starting your career and retiring with the same company are over."

11 Tips for Managing Millennials - - Susan M. Heathfield
  1. Provide structure.
  2. Provide leadership and guidance.
  3. Encourage the millennial's self-assuredness, "can-do" attitude, and positive personal self-image.
  4. Take advantage of the millennial's comfort level with teams. Encourage them to join.
  5. Listen to the millennial employee.
  6. Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change.
  7. Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before.
  8. Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy
  9. Capitalize on the millennial’s affinity for networking.
  10. Provide a life-work balanced workplace.
  11. Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- July 20, 2014

Gerald Celente interview on King World news - July 20, 2014 - Founder & Director of the Trends Research Institute, is author of the highly acclaimed and best selling books, Trend Tracking and Trends 2000 (Warner Books) and publisher of the Trends Journal®. Interview Link
Gerald Celente discusses the lack of pride in the United States. Money can't buy health. It takes self-responsibility. Americans have an "I don't care" attitude. Look at how people dress and their presentation. The bar has been lowered. Look what society has degraded into. Mr. Celente says this isn't because he is an old guy. America is leading the World on a downward trajectory with "I don't care." It brings down the whole bottom line, because people don't care what is going on around them...                     Art has become another Wall Street Scam. Art (today)is a whole lot of Bad Attitude... Fast Food is not Food. 1/3 of childhood population is obese. What goes in is what comes out...                                 No news just propaganda. Everything is orchestrated. Everything is phony. People swallow the propaganda like they swallow slurpees...               Plenty of wildcards. Everyone knows the markets are rigged. Surprises will be geopolitical unrest/instability. Gives examples around the world. Geopolitical unrest, social unrest, and ecopnomic panic. Governments will do anything they can to keep the Ponzi scheme going. Governments are trying to get people's minds off the financial issues. When all else fails they take you to war.

Look out: 'Burrito inflation' is here - CNN Money - Ben Rooney - July 20, 2014 - ...Many companies in the food industry have been hiking menu prices recently as wholesale prices for everything from beef and pork to coffee and cocoa have risen sharply this year.                     Coincidentally, the government will release a report on June consumer price inflation on Tuesday. The CPI index for May showed an increase that was double what economists had expected, raising concerns that inflation is heating up.                          

New Internet speed record blows past Google Fiber - CNN Money - David Goldman - July 10, 2014 - Bell Labs researchers just broke the broadband Internet speed record.                        It is eight times faster than the previous record -- and it was done over copper landlines.                          With speeds of 10 gigabits per second, Bell Labs' technology proved to be 1,000 times faster than traditional broadband speeds. It is even 10 times faster than Google (GOOGL, Tech30) Fiber, which offers the fastest broadband available to consumers.                           Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Bell Labs' parent company, dubbed the new technology "XG-FAST." The company called it a "major breakthrough," giving broadband companies the ability to provide fiber-optic-like speeds over the existing copper landline infrastructure that blankets most of America.                            Verizon (VZ, Tech30) FiOS, Google Fiber and others have sought to bring ultra-fast fiber connections directly to people's homes. But the process is extremely expensive, and often involves digging up homeowners' yards. Providing fiber to the majority of American households could cost hundreds of billions -- or even trillions -- of dollars, depending on various estimates.

Subprime woes are back: This time in used cars - CNBC/New York Times -Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery - July 20, 2014 - ...This is the face of the new subprime boom. Mr. Durham is one of millions of Americans with shoddy credit who are easily obtaining auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers' abilities to repay. The loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers. The surge in lending and the lack of caution resemble the frenzied subprime mortgage market before its implosion set off the 2008 financial crisis.                   Auto loans to people with tarnished credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered subprime -- people with credit scores at or below 640.                       The explosive growth is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in subprime mortgages. A wave of money is pouring into subprime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors. Just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation's biggest banks and private equity firms are feeding the growth in subprime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.                       And, like subprime mortgages before the financial crisis, many subprime auto loans are bundled into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds -- a process that creates ever-greater demand for loans.                     The New York Times examined more than 100 bankruptcy court cases, dozens of civil lawsuits against lenders and hundreds of loan documents and found that subprime auto loans can come with interest rates that can exceed 23 percent. The loans were typically at least twice the size of the value of the used cars purchased, including dozens of battered vehicles with mechanical defects hidden from borrowers. Such loans can thrust already vulnerable borrowers further into debt, even propelling some into bankruptcy, according to the court records, as well as interviews with borrowers and lawyers in 19 states.                       In another echo of the mortgage boom, The Times investigation also found dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers' income and employment, leading people who had lost their jobs, were in bankruptcy or were living on Social Security to qualify for loans that they could never afford.                      Many subprime auto lenders are loosening credit standards and focusing on the riskiest borrowers, according to the examination of documents and interviews with current and former executives from five large subprime auto lenders. The lending practices in the subprime auto market, recounted in interviews with the executives and in court records, demonstrate that Wall Street is again taking on very risky investments just six years after the financial crisis.                     The size of the subprime auto loan market is a tiny fraction of what the subprime mortgage market was at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences. Yet some banking analysts and even credit ratings agencies that have blessed subprime auto securities have sounded warnings about potential risks to investors and to the financial system if borrowers fall behind on their bills.                    Pointing to higher auto loan balances and longer repayment periods, the ratings agency Standard & Poor's recently issued a report cautioning investors to expect ''higher losses.'' And a high-ranking official at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates some of the nation's largest banks, has also privately expressed concerns that the banks are amassing too many risky auto loans, according to two people briefed on the matter. In a June report, the agency noted that ''these early signs of easing terms and increasing risk are noteworthy.''                   Despite such warnings, the volume of total subprime auto loans increased roughly 15 percent, to $145.6 billion, in the first three months of this year from a year earlier, according to Experian, a credit rating firm...

Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs over next year - USA Today - Brett Molina - July 17, 2014 -
Microsoft confirmed it will cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, part of the tech titan's efforts to streamline its business under new CEO Satya Nadella.                        In a statement released Thursday, Microsoft says about 12,500 of the professional and factory positions will be cut as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's handset business.                                       Nadella, who replaced Steve Ballmer in February, says the "vast majority" of employees affected by layoffs will be notified within the next six months. They will also earn severance and job transition help in many locations. All cuts will be completed by next June.                        The layoffs by Microsoft -- which employs 125,000 people -- are the company's largest ever. The acquisition of Nokia's handset business in April added 25,000 people to Microsoft's payroll.                                            Microsoft is the latest tech giant suffering through a round of layoffs. In May, personal computer company Hewlett-Packard announced it would cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs as part of a massive restructuring. Earlier this year, IBM said it would take a $1 billion charge for "workforce re-balancing."                   Chip maker Intel and network-equipment maker Cisco Systems both said in the past year they were cutting about 5% of their workforces.​

Millennials buying homes later in life - USA Today - Josh Boak, AP Staff - July 19, 2014 -
The analysis suggests that the recession — for all its damage to the economy — did little to turn off Millennials from the idea of owning a home compared to previous generations. In fact, the report shows that the major group whose ownership rates suffered because of the downturn is middle-aged Americans.                          The easy credit offered during the housing bubble caused more young people to buy than they otherwise would and masked the impact of the demographic changes, according to Trulia. The bursting of that bubble and the resulting recession that began in 2007 then caused ownership to fall where it should be, given the demographic shifts. Because a greater percentage of younger Americans are attending college and graduate school, they are settling down a few years later — which causes them to delay buying a home.                            Census figures show that the share of 18-34 year-olds who are married is 30%, down from 47% in 1983. Just 29% of them live with children, compared to 39% three decades ago. Since more people in the age range are single and childless, Trulia looked at the number of homeowners who are also identified as the head of their households. After adjusting for these population shifts, the share of people under 35 years old who own homes is the same as it was for 1997.                 Standard Census data, which aren't adjusted for these factors, show that the ownership rate among those younger than 35 has declined to 36.2% from 38.6% in 1997. Slightly less than 65 percent of the country owns a home, down from a peak of 69% in the middle of 2006.                       While the weak economic rebound has affected home buying, Trulia's analysis puts more of an emphasis on demographics than much of the real estate industry has to explain poor sales.

Three Charts Of The Week: Money Printing Is Not Bringing Prosperity To Main Street - Tyler Durden - July 20, 2014 - Submitted by David Stockman of Contra Corner blog, - Furious money printing by the world’s major central banks is not generating real growth and prosperity—–but professional economists never seem to get the word. As shown below, the 2014 outlook for global real growth has been marked down sharply since early 2013. Back then, of course, Abenomics and massive QE by the BOJ was supposed to cause the Japanese economy to soar; Draghi’s “anything it takes” bromide was going to jolt Europe out of its slump; and the elixir of QE3 was certain to finally cause the US economy to attain “escape velocity”.                          Its not working out that way. In Japan, import inflation is soaring, real wages are still falling and the economy is entering a new slump in Q2 owing to a tax increase that was unavoidably necessary to pay for its runaway fiscal largesse. In Europe, the Bank Of Italy, Draghi’s home base, has now marked its forecast of 2014 real GDP growth to essentially zero. And in the US after the disastrous first quarter, along with what is shaping up to be a tepid second quarter, real growth will not achieve any kind of velocity, “escape” or otherwise; in fact, consensus real GDP has already been marked down to 1.7%—the lowest rate of expansion since the financial crisis. Accordingly, it is only a matter of time before the global forecast for 2014 shown below below is marked down even further.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of July 15, 2014

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

Agenda about the City Council meeting of July 15, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014

Invocation by Rev. Bill Garrard, Retired United Methodist Pastor

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Federation of the Blind of Catawba County Day to Mr. Dawson Hart 
B. Recognition of the Hickory Crawdads Staff and Connie Kincaid for Crawdad’s All-Star Bash, June 16, 2014
C. Presentation of Retiring Members of Volunteer Boards and Commissions

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Mr. Jeff Hines regarding Horseford Cove and the Glenn Hilton Park Area - (per Hickory Inc.) - addressed Council on concerns of debris, pollution and sediment in the Horseford Cove area. He discussed measures that had been taken in the past to correct some of the problems in this area.
B. James Thomas Shell - (per Hickory Inc.) - discussed the ten reasons why Hickory is not attracting and keeping young adults in the area.
C. Meredith Ross - (per Hickory Inc.) - spoke to Council regarding the Old Lenoir Road Business Association. She presented photos of businesses located in the area.
D. J.D. Ross - (per Hickory Inc.) -  addressed Council also on the Old Lenoir Road Business Association. He discussed the difficulty of maneuvering on the streets in Hickory. He would like to see Welcome signs from Old Lenoir Road directing people to downtown Hickory.
E. Larry Pope - (per Hickory Inc.) - discussed an application that he had submitted for the Citizens Advisory Board. He also discussed the issuance of Community Development Block Grant funds and representation in Ward 4... also he has called his Ward representative four times and has not had a phone call returned.
F. Tami Abernathy - (per Hickory Inc.)  - Ms. Tami Abernathy spoke to Council regarding needs that should be addressed in the Ridgeview Community... Only has seen her ward representative Hank Guess at the Ridgeview Reunion - none besides that.

Hound Note: Check out the tone of the Mayor towards everyone else and then the tone towards Larry. The Mayor isn't going to comment on what I said, because he knows I get to rebut it publicly, and with near immediacy, in this forum, but I encourage him to address what I have said. I certainly am cursing the darkness, and will continue to do so, as I shine my light into that darkness.

Mr. Hines issue needs to be remediated. We're going to allow that garbage to build up in that major cove. while we study the issue? That seems unheathy.

Meredith and J.D. had a positive message about the Old Highway 70 association of businesses and corridor and they came before the council without a hand out. We don't often see that. They shouldn't expect anything from the council until they can provide a photo-op. This council has already chosen how they want to confiscate and disburse the eggs.

Larry Pope has a legitimate gripe, I have seen the mayor basically respond with some quip every time Larry speaks. I have witnessed it time and time again. If you get up and support the Council or are an insider, then the Mayor and this Council have a completely different manner in which they will treat you as opposed to when you say something that they judge as critical, especially when there is a history. Some of that can be dismissed as Human Nature, but as a governmental body, these people shouldn't be so overt in how they expressly support some cause and summarily dismiss and tune out others. This Council has the rest of the meeting. This Persons requesting to be Heard is supposed to be for the public to express themselves. Why does the Mayor feel it is incumbent upon himself to take over this part of the meeting, especially when he refuses to allow a back and forth dialogue with people he doesn't agree with? 

Larry Pope also has a legitimate issue with the same non-profits always get the money and Hickory Inc. doesn't audit them. That is part of the 21st Century Platform - #8. But, this is an issue of control. No one is getting any money out of the Hickory Inc. treasury, unless Hickory Inc. in some way, shape, or form has its tentacles embedded into that organization, not as a method of accountability, but in the manner of quid pro quo. Ms. Abernathy made valid points about how Ridgeview has been ignored by Hank Guess and the Council. The Mayor tried to softly dismiss her. Larry's point about calling Hank is not new. It has been going on since Hank took that seat. Old Hickory will say, "Hell yeah, Ridgeview ain't gittin nuthin," as they chuckle with their ole South Drawl... and others choose to stick their head in the sand (or somewhere else) and pretend that no issue exists. Everyone knows that this council doesn't do **** for the south side of the tracks. Some endorse it and some choose to ignore it. The mayor shouldn't lie about it.


Consent Agenda

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-02 to the City’s Land Development Code. - Planning Director Brian Frazier presentation
- this item was tabled until the second meeting in September. It was directed to be sent back to the Planning Commission to be reworked regarding modifying temporary and seasonal sales. They want to discourage "fly by night" businesses. (Council Debate of the issue)

2. Request to Amend Vacant Building Grant Agreement from Jack Sipe Construction Company.  - Dave Leonetti presentation- Council passed unanimously

3. State Honors 38 Utilities for Meeting Stringent Voluntary Goals.  -Kevin Greer - An honor for water quality from the Federal EPA standards - Enhanced monitoring and Standards have been put in place to assure that water quality will maintain these standards.

General Comments - per Hickory Inc.
Mr. Berry recognized interns in attendance, Ms. Camille Hill and Ms. Meghan Williford, from Elon School of Law. They are clerking with Deputy City Attorney Arnita Dula for the next several weeks.

Mayor Wright commented on his vacation in Alaska, where they spent several days in Anchorage. They have a beautiful, and one of the most extensive, bikeway and parkway systems in the United States. They encountered two moose while on it, and where told that there was a black bear right around the corner, but when they got there it was gone. We don’t have those kinds of natural resources to share, but what a beautiful thing that they have, we probably would never be able to duplicate that because of the timing and the way our streets fall. It would be an admirable goal to try to have some bikeways, and walkways.

The Hickory Inc. Key to Success

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hal Row's First Talk - Startown Residents vs Hickory Inc. - 1764 Business Park

The following is an interview of a group of concerned Startown area residents that are currently opposed to Hickory Inc. annexing property on Startown Road that will be used to build the proposed 1764 Business Park that is part of the Bond Referendum that will be on the November ballot. The interview was conducted on 1290 WHKYam Radio's First talk program with Hal Row.

WHKY does not archive these programs and make them available to the public, so I am putting this important public interview up under Fair Use guidelines.

Segment 1 - Eddie Ide was the man who had called in during the Monday Morning Meeting with the Mayor on Monday. He was interviewed along with (pardon if incorrect spelling) Debra Strauther, and former County Commissioner Glenn Barger. Mr. Barger stated that they aren't against Economic Development or a Business Park, but this is a high dense area.  They had believed, initially, that this was a Catawba County project and now they have found out it is a 50/50 project with Hickory Inc. This is in the county and as developed it will be annexed. A certain portion of the bond will be invested in this park. This area is designated as residential/agriculture. Their are a number of areas designated for business that have not been filled.

Segment 2 - Ms. Strauther wanted to live in the country and that is why she moved to Startown. She says that they have been working on this since 2011 and they are just finding about this now. She believes it will be an Industrial/ Manufacturing Park. She believes that they will be widening Startown Road. She says that there are already 13 sites that were zoned, but aren't developed. The 321 corridor was built to take traffic off of Startown Road and build industry down there. Hal contends that the site looks pretty good and has protections. Mr. Barger rebuts this with a contention about Robinwood Road. They want Startown residents to be heard.

Segment 3 - The people of Startown want this process slowed down. They want citizens informed and questions answered. Teacher from Startown Elementary, Margy Butterfield calls in with several issues and is offering a petition. Another lady called in favor of the park and talked about misinformation. There will be no building built until parcels are sold. Five lane road isn't happening. She says she has a child here that would like to work here, but there is nothing here and this offers a real possibility. She said that people should read about what is actually happening. Ms. Strauther wants more restrictions on this property. They talked about the meeting of the County Commission next Monday night. Caller Jeff brings up Lowe's on 127 and lack of issues there. Ms. Strauthersays kids aren't getting off the school bus on that road. They are on Startown and Robinwood Road.

Segment 4 - Caller Lewis says Startown has no representation, because their planning board representative had to recuse himself, because he is related to the property owner.  No EDC or Planning Board reps showed up the the meeting held the other night. Mr. Ide spoke about other buildings that are available. We have plenty of spaces available. Good park, Good idea... wrong location. Ms. Strauther says this will bring people from other areas. We need to focus on our area and growing the economy in our area. Mr. Barger states that this park violates present community development plans.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014

In the Chambers

Horseford Cove issue is about runoff and build up of silt and garbage.

Meredith & JD Ross pushing the old 70 corridor. Pretty positive message. Not asking for city money.

Larry Pope - Hank Guess won't take my phone calls. Larry didn't get arrested... barely.


The video below shows my address of council along with Larry Pope's and Tammy Abernathy's, which involved the Socio-Economic dynamics of the area. You will see a confrontation initiated by the Mayor at the end of Larry Pope's address of council. The Mayor has taken it upon himself to set the precedent of responding to what people say at the podium and the person is not allowed to readdress/rebut the Mayor. While the Mayor may be able to usurp the law, he is definitely violating the spirit of the law when it comes to people addressing the Council. HE SHOULD interact with people at the podium. He should not shut people down, because he doesn't like what they say or nitpick over what they say, unless he is willing to afford a dialogue. That is what adults are supposed to do.

People should be ruled out of order if they become belligerent. Larry was reacting to something that the Mayor has done many times to him.  Larry was not being proactively belligerent. The Mayor was not elected to have the final say on every matter in this community. If he wants to be a Judge, then he should go to law school, pass the bar, and run or be appointed to a position as a judge. His actions here subvert the First Amendment and are un-American.


My Birthday Speech

The Chamber of Commerce has a poll in which they are asking young people about ways to improve Catawba County and make it more desirable for young professionals. I have taken a broader look and here are my top 10 reasons why we aren't attracting young people to live, move to, or stay in the Hickory area.

10) In this community, young middle class and poor people have seen an enthusiastic willingness to cater to the older and more affluent folks at the expense of what would benefit them.

9) This opening generation of the modern 21st century reality says that it is a priority for them to have a role in making the world a better place. They don't want to live in communities where Control and Authority rule over Love, Empathy, and Kindness.

8) The Millennials want autonomy, but if they do have to work for someone else, then they want that person to serve as a mentor, not an authoritarian. They don't want to deal with old school, regimented, mechanical, simple black and white dogmatic mindsets... Bosses need to look at their workforce as partners, not commodities.

7) Young people aren't looking for a job. They are looking for a career. They want employment where they think the owner is in it with them and cares about their interests. It should be common sense and a natural derivative that if business owners take care of their employees, that employees will do likewise and the business will thrive, if that becomes the norm in this community, then this community will thrive.

*** And here are Six things that these young people and others can see about this community

6) This community's Powers That Be have demonstrated through actions a "Do as I say and not as I do" collective personality.

5) Career success is certainly more easily attainable in structures based upon hard work and merit rather than a social caste system based upon who you are related to and who you know.

4) Constructive critical thought is an asset and imperative to the success of a free and open society. We have seen the local Powers that Be take hostile actions against people when it wasn't necessary - just because people dissented or even asked questions. As though answering to the people would somehow lead to chaos.

3) We have seen a mindset where stories, messages, information, ideas, and processes must be controlled and well crafted. Being real and unfiltered has become the victim.... 1984... Thought Criminals.

2) People who attempt to control messages create bottlenecks on Information and Information is a valuable commodity in this age - the information age. This has created a hindrance to real Economic activity.

1) And last but not least, we have seen through disrespectful actions where this government has essentially told the people, "when we want your opinion, we'll give it to you."

We haven't lost the young people because of inanimate objects. We have lost them through actions. But don't take my words negatively... take them as an opportunity to evolve towards a better reality.

20140714 - Monday Morning Meeting with the Mayor


The following is the interview of Mayor Rudy Wright on 1290 WHKYam Radio's First talk program with Hal Row.

WHKY does not archive these programs and make them available to the public, so I am putting this important public interview up under Fair Use guidelines.

Segment 1 - Mayor talks about his vacation to Alaska... All-Star Game that was held in Hickory and other events in the area.

Segment 2
- Mayor continues talking about Anchorage, Alaska. Talks about the Bond Referendum. Not going to spend $40 million all at once.

Segment 3 - Mayor continues talking about the Bond Referendum. Talks about 1764 Business Park and a spec building associated with it. Talks about the walkway around the lake. Asked about detractors and says he hasn't heard anything. Hal presses him on it and he finally says he has seen in writing that people are saying this will be in certain parts of the community and he says it's for all of Hickory. Hal asks why we should trust the City with $40 million... Rudy says look at our track record over the last 12 years. He says they are in it with us. They aren't looking to feather their nest.

Segment 4
- A gentleman from Startown (Eddie) calls and talks about a protest of the proposed 1764 Park in the Startown area. They don't want Hickory annexing the 180 acre area. Mayor Wright refuses to get into specifics. Certainly seems to know more than he is letting on. Eddie seems very knowledgeable. Eddie talks about other Business Park areas, and buildings, that aren't being utilized. Eddie talks about $2 million of Bond Referendum monies earmarked for this site' infrastructure.