Saturday, August 1, 2015

Chinese [which could be Greensboro] factory replaces 90% of humans with robots, production soars = Eventual civil unrest

"...Before the robots, the product defect rate was 25%, now it is below 5%...

The Changying Precision Technology Company factory in Dongguan has automated production lines that use robotic arms to produce parts for cell phones. The factory also has automated machining equipment, autonomous transport trucks, and other automated equipment in the warehouse.


There are still people working at the factory, though. Three workers check and monitor each production line and there are other employees who monitor a computer control system. Previously, there were 650 employees at the factory. With the new robots, there's now only 60. Luo Weiqiang, general manager of the company, told the People's Daily that the number of employees could drop to 20 in the future.

The robots have produced almost three times as many pieces as were produced before. According to the People's Daily, production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces. That's a 162.5% increase.

Ever notice there isn't an order taker at Sheetz,
but a self service kiosk?

...The growth of robotics in the area's factories comes amidst a particularly harsh climate around factory worker conditions, highlighted by strikes in the area. One can only wonder whether automation will add fuel to the fire or quell some of the unrest.

How many workers are eliminated
by self check out lines at grocery stores and Walmart?

...Additionally, in March, 2015, the Guangdong government announced a three year plan to increase automation in the region by subsidizing the purchase of robots.

Automated car wash.

...China was the largest market for industrial robotics in 2014 with nearly 60,000 robots sold."

Friday, July 31, 2015

Matt Brown: LeBauer Park Doomed To Fail

You never know what caring City of Greensboro employees might happen to send out to the public. Take for instance this e-mail in which Greensboro Coliseum Director, Matt Brown, the highest paid man on City payroll and obviously an expert in his field, says about the chances of success for Greensboro's downtown LeBauer Park.

All that public and private money spent and Greensboro's top expert on entertainment venues doesn't believe it can work.

You know, just like the downtown Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts-- in financial difficulties before the first brick is even laid.

And who was behind both of these projects? None other than Walker Sanders and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.

Thank you for your public records request (4644).

"You requested, “all Nancy Vaughan, Zack Matheny and Mike Barber Facebook Messages concerning City of Greensboro Business for the last 90 days.”  After consulting with our Legal department, it was determined that the City is not the custodian of records from council member’s Facebook accounts. 

I have reached out to Mayor Vaughan, Councilman Barber and former Councilman Matheny, and I have been advised that they have no records they wish to produce in response to this request."


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator
Communications and Marketing Department

Next City Council Meeting is August 3

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Greensboro's Civil Rights Museum Audit doesn't have to be "clean", but "acceptable"

From the City of Greensboro's Audit before Council voted for the loan;
The Carolina Bank loan is guaranteed by the Sit in Movement, which doesn't own the property.

The Sit in Movement is the ICRCM.
Yvonne Johnson voted for the loan after withdrawing as a Manager of the ICRCM.

Yvonne voted for Skip and Earl's bailout, which was a conflict of interest in my view.

I believe the vote was illegal.

Yvonne, Earl and Skip are in the Simpkins PAC together.

Skip and what looks like Yvonne's kin have been paid by the Simkins PAC.

The city attorney said the audits would need to be "acceptable" as opposed to "clean"

I believe Skip and Earl need to step completely away from any fiduciary control over this project.

I believe Yvonne should not have anything to do with what happens to this issue going forward.
I was lobbied by Eric Robert, as to why Skip Alston and Earl Jones would be justified in taking an income from the Museum property, once the City helped pay off the debt.

The News and Record has not reported to the public Skip and Earl's actual financial interests.
"There are generally three types of auditor's opinions.

A "clean" or unqualified opinion states that the financial statements present a fair and accurate picture of the company and comply with generally accepted accounting principles.

A qualified opinion contains exceptions, which may include the scope of the audit.

An adverse opinion contains a major exception or warning.

The most well-known adverse opinion is the "going-concern" exception, in which the accountant expresses doubts about the company's ability to remain in business."
From what I have read, the Museum's latest audit "contains a major exception or warning" which includes a "going-concern" exception, in which the accountant expresses doubts about the company's ability to remain in business".

As there is no audit definition of "acceptable" as far as I can find, the City can make the word mean anything City Council wants it to mean.

So if the City gives Skip and Earl's potential future income another $250,000 bailout, they will have only themselves to blame for the misappropriation of taxpayer monies.

Yes Weekly's Jeff Sykes on his April 27, 2015 unfulfilled public records request for Guilford County

"...which to this date remains acknowledged, but unfilled.

In April it was announced that Guilford County had approved the issuance of $17 million of bonds to support construction of the Union Square Campus in Downtown Greensboro...

When I first began working in Greensboro one of the things I heard most often from readers and activists was that people often didn’t understand these public-private partnerships that brought about Center City Park, the Downtown Greenway, Union Square Campus, and the pending Performing Arts Center. Questions about the land and financing of Union Square abounded, once the dust from the announcement celebration settled, and seeing no other reporter really picking the project apart, I decided it was something I could look into.

...on April 27, a week after I learned about the county issuing bonds for Union Square, I filed a records request with Guilford County.

...I contacted a person in the county administration and asked what was the procedure for filing a request. The person told me that I could send them the request, as the county did not have a dedicated public information officer. This is what’s transpired since then.

I sent the following records request:

“ I would like to request emails, documents and correspondence to or from Union Square Campus Inc.’s John Merrill or Ed Kitchen asking the county to issue bonds to help finance the Union Square Campus. The date range on this could be Feb. 1, 2015 to present.”

The date range was a mere three months and the search terms narrowly tailored. The person acknowledged my request in a reply email that cc’d the county attorney, Mark Payne. Being patient, I decided to see how the process played itself out. By June 1 I had received no answer to my request and I followed up with my contact.

I followed up again on June 22, almost two months after the request was made. I received a response that she would “check on the status of this one.” Hearing nothing in the following days, I inquired again on July 1.

I have received no response to my inquiry since then, and suffice it to say, the request remains unfilled.

I called the county manager’s office about 10 days ago to inquire about the status of my request. The receptionist in the manager’s office said she would give him my message and “have someone return my call.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Does Greensboro Want A Civil Rights Museum?

The question isn't can the International Civil Rights Center and Museum make a profit? It never will. The Greensboro Historical Museum has lost money every year since it opened it's doors in 1925. We all know the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts will never make a profit. The Greensboro Public Library system looses money every year. So does Greensboro Parks and Recreation, Greensboro Police and the Greensboro Fire Department.

Museums historically loose money. The NASCAR museum in Charlotte had to be bailed out this year.

So it's no surprise that today's News &  Record tells us the ICRCM is again loosing money according to the latest audit.

Skip Alston says,

“The bottom line is, it’s a clean audit,”

And therefore he believes the ICRCM should be given the last $250,000 payment that was promised to them by Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan who sits on the board of the ICRCM and should have known all along what was going on but is apparently clueless. Or would at least like you to think she is clueless.

Councilman Tony Wilkins says,

“I think we all agree that we need the museum. It’s a part of our history and we need to keep it open.

I’m not sure as to how to do that at this point."

How do we keep it open? Greensboro has to decide if we really want the ICRCM to remain open. If the answer is yes then Greensboro will figure out a way. Councilman Wilkins has stepped up and shown leadership in saying we need to keep it open, will the Mayor and the rest of Council have the courage to do the same.

Or are they all a bunch of cowards who like before, forced the resignation of City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan for approving the signing of a check with the approval of the Mayor and City Manager and then paying him a big bonus to keep his mouth shut? After all, if you've got a man dead to rights you don't give him a huge bonus as you're forcing him out the door.

So ask yourself Greensboro, do we want it or not? Screw Skip and Earl, they won't live forever but the history of our city will remain alive for as long as we want to keep it alive. A lot of Greensboro memories good and bad are housed in that building on Elm Street-- does Greensboro intend to keep them alive or not?

And to those of you who think the Greensboro Historical Museum should house the ICRCM collection... Obviously you have not recently been inside as the ICRCM collection is far too large to be housed in the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jamal Fox misleads Guilford County Board of Elections and Greensboro's African American Community

"Friends of Jamal Fox" 2015 Mid Year campaign financial disclosure, which doesn't list an in-kind donation from White Republican Real Estate Magnate Marty Kotis;

There are 13 donations dated 2/2/2015, which appears to be falsely filed;
Sources close to Guilford County's Board of Elections are saying Jamal informed the Board that the event was a personal birthday party and had nothing to do with his campaign.

If it was a personal birthday party, why were financial contributions solicited in the Facebook invite?

If Jamal put "Friends of Jamal Fox" asking for donations on the invite, he appears to have misled the Board.

As Mr. Fox is acting as his own Treasurer, the filing looks falsified, if the donations at a party sponsored by Marty Kotis were misleadingly dated.

There is no payment to the Pig Pounder Brewery.

There is no record of an inkind contribution from Kotis.

Maybe Jamal doesn't want his Black constituents to see he has been purchased by a White Republican millionaire, who enjoys tapping into taxpayer funds through Fox's City Council votes, even though Marty controls more than $100,000,000 according to Roy Carroll's Rhino Times.

Don't worry Jamal, the News and Record didn't report it then, and probably won't now.

All John Hammer cares about is how much of your donor's spend with the Rhino.