The Great Greensboro River and the Amazing Empty Election
In this edition of Tiny Rabbit Holes: Another town's getting in on this fake river business. Also, an election where nobody ran and nobody voted, a glistening Kenny Chesney, and an elk-a-vator.
Hello, valued Rabbit Hole reader! On Mondays, we get your week started off right with some odds and ends from recent times. I’m calling it Tiny Rabbit Holes, and if you like what you see, please subscribe to my newsletter here.
Buy A Jet-Ski, and Prepare Yourself For the Great Greensboro River
The Greensboro News & Record moved out of its digs downtown a few years ago, but its bigass headquarters is still sitting there, collecting dust and trash. Local government folks say it’s the most desirable piece of land in town, because it’s a large parcel and close to all of the tall buildings (Site note: Greensboro has some tall buildings!). But it’s also a brownfield, so there has to be some cleanup before the site can be redevloped.
Triad City Beat went deep on the story about the property, which is of interest to some local folks. But right in the middle comes this big idea, from the CEO of Downtown Greensboro, Inc.:
“I’m thinking a little bit bigger,” Matheny said. “Since the project does need work, that we as a municipality, whether the city or the county or the state maybe partner with us and do we think big and have a riverwalk on that site like Oklahoma City or San Antonio. People have always talked about water in downtown Greensboro, and we have a high water table. So could we develop a riverwalk on that 10-acre site and then sell the outparcels?”
I’m sorry, did you say you’re gonna CREATE A RIVER OUT OF NOTHING?? CHARLOTTE, ARE YOU HEARING THIS? Greensboro is gonna out-Charlotte you!
Keep in mind that this is just the rumblings of Some Connected Guy, and that the water feature he’s thinking of is more akin to the extended gurgling canal at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Still though, for those of you in Charlotte who are interested in the #Make277aRiver movement, you might want to get going on that.
He Thinks My Fieldturf’s Sexy
How come we never see Kenny Chesney’s eyes, and why does he glisten like a Krispy Kreme donut?
There was a whole thing a while ago about how big name concert tours skip out on Charlotte in favor of Greensboro and Raleigh. Well, now that Bank of America Stadium doesn’t have to worry about a stadium tour coming in and ripping up its turf, those days may be over. Although! Chesney’s arrival reminds me of part of a rant by Mike Polk Junior, who once stood outside the Cleveland Browns Stadium and referred to it as a “Factory of Sadness”:
You are wasting valuable space on our majestic shoreline, and what do we get out of it from you? Ten miserable games a year, including two preseason games that I have to pay for and one shitty Kenny Chesney concert.
Anyway, congrats Charlotte on getting a shitty Kenny Chesney concert! You’re just as good as Cleveland now. Maybe even a little bit better.
Speaking of Shitty
From Business NC’s Colin Campbell, the most glorious election result:
Which begs the question, what the hell is this job? Well, a few years ago, a subdivision near Greenville wanted to replace its failing septic systems with a legit sewer system. Legally, residents need to elect a board of three people to oversee it, but those three people can only come from the district, which currently only encompasses 25 homes. They also have to serve for four year terms. In 2017, only one person filed to run, an optimistic man named Earl Wade:
"If no one files I'm sure there will be some write-ins," Wade said. "I think I can round up some people to help and be a write-in in November."
Earl rounded up some people! One woman, Rita Leggett, got ONE WRITE-IN VOTE and that was enough to get her elected.
This time around, though, it appears that nobody wants to put up with this neighborhood’s shit.
More Election Ephemera
Hey, you wanna know about voter fraud? Well, my buds Nick Ochsner and Mike Graff have a book coming out about the goings on in Bladen County over the last few years. In this chat, they explain how they got the man at the center of it all, McRae Dowless, to talk. (via the NC Local Newsletter)
Dan Bishop, who may have been gerrymandered out of a job, gets The Onion treatment.
Kinston, which I heard referred to as “North Carolina’s Sparta” a few weeks back, is now the home to the youngest elected official in North Carolina history.
Graham County is no longer TECHNICALLY North Carolina’s last dry county?
Jeff Postell, the former Murphy police officer who caught Eric Rudolph, was just elected to his third term as a city councillor in Taunton, Massachusetts.
In order to survive, this newsletter needs a nemesis
Charlie Warzel, who also runs a Substack newsletter, is moving said newsletter to The Atlantic, which is also the writing home of delightful Durhamite David Graham. In his parting Substack note, Warzel was nuanced and transparent about why he’s making the move, and talked about what he could have done to actually drum up more business. One thing that might have led to more paid subscriptions? Creating a sworn enemy!
My friends, I love to write and also have a very feeble business mind! But after reading this, it’s clear: THE NORTH CAROLINA RABBIT HOLE NEEDS A BLOOD FEUD. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments. Of note: South Carolina, like, the entire state of South Carolina, is much too easy. They barely even have roads!
Also, I need some sort of cutesy name to refer to you, the Rabbit Hole Reader. How about RabHoles? No, definitely not that.
Anyway, Talk To Me, RabHoles
From Rabbit Hole reader tarhoosier:
NC has the second most highway miles in the country, to Texas. In the 1910's to 1930's NC was a poor rural state with isolated communities and only the state could connect the population.
Thus the state road issue. Somewhat similar to the state education system when counties were near bankruptcy in the 30's.
Yes, very true. You know the good roads governor? Cameron Morrison? He was, as many governors of his era were, sorta racist, but he did build a shit ton of roads in this state, and the legacy is that even the cul-de-sac in your suburban neighborhood is a state road. Also, his descendants basically went on to control and develop large swaths of Charlotte land (Ballantyne! Morrowcroft!). One of his grandsons, Cammie Harris, gave me the only moment of the 2012 Democratic National Convention that I actually remember.
From Noah Angell:
Upon reading this piece, and seeing the name Wanda Stalcup of Cherokee County, it rang a bell and I thought I'd direct you to this interview with Roy Stalcup:
The above clip is part of a larger archive of him playing old banjo tunes:
From Doug Gillies: “I have a suggestion for an alternate Ohio License Plate celebrating the Wright Brothers.” Doug attached a picture of the gentleman in this news story.
Other Important Things To Know
There is a llama on the loose in the greater Stokesdale area.
Wilmington, it appears that you’re gonna get a solid dose of Mel Gibson.
NCDOT is building a bonafide wildlife overpass out in Haywood County, or as I call it, an elk-a-vator.
In Freudian development news: A longtime strip club in Charlotte is being torn down and replaced with three skyscrapers.
When life gives you bad faith reviews, make t-shirts. IndyWeek has more.
Enjoy your week everybody.