Monday, October 13, 2014

A Letter To My New Readers From UNCG

I've suddenly got a huge influx of new readers so I'd like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Billy Jones, I'm 58 years old and I've failed at almost everything I've ever done. Four years ago, after over 40 years of working for a living, my doctors talked me into quitting my job and applying for disability. I've since lost everything I ever owned and have yet to receive disability. I live on $188 a month in food stamps, the food I can grow in my garden and some weekends I make $30-40 selling junk at the flea market. This past weekend my gross receipts amounted to .25 cents and gas to fuel my pick-up truck was over $20.

I suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of incidents that happened when I was a kid. I miss my son who died almost 2 years ago.

I'm a Roads Scholar.  No, that's not a typo. I have a fake high school diploma from Greensboro's James B Dudley Sr High School and spent 28 years working as a truck driver.

While I've traveled the entire nation, Canada and Mexico in trucks and on motorcycles I was born and raised here in what was once called the Bessemer Community in East Greensboro. I keep backyard chickens, raise fish, earthworms, vegetables, herbs and duckweed on the same small plot that has been owned and gardened by my family since 1958. With every passing year more and more of the yard, including the front yard, gets converted to agriculture. I'm poor but I'll never starve as survival was taught well by my Depression Era parents. My dream is to start a company manufacturing mopeds right here in Greensboro, not because I want the money but because I believe it's something that needs to be done for Greensboro and the world. I've spent 10 years designing a moped that weighs less than 1/3 of what current mopeds weigh, is cleaner and gets 2 to 3 times the gas mileage.

Having blogged since 2000 to promote my poetry, short stories and children's books, (I forgot to mention, I made $18 in royalties last year) I started this blog 3 years ago in opposition to the downtown Greensboro Performing Arts Center. I live in a neighborhood where people are poor because the City of Greensboro deliberatly destroyed our neighborhood under the guise of urban development:

"This lively community began to wind down in the late 1950s and 1960s when, under the guise of "urban renewal," thousands of people and more than 80 businesses (many minority-owned) were displaced. Most of those businesses never reestablished."

I grew up watching my neighborhood die and not understanding why. Now I know why. When then Mayor Robbie Perkins first pitched the idea of a performing arts center I understood full well Greensboro's focus on real estate development as economic development has a 50 plus year record of failure and needed to be changed.

Most of you probably didn't hear me but I also spoke out against UNCG's gentrification of the Glenwood neighborhood.

The City Council won't say it publicly but I saved Greensboro taxpayers $2 Million Dollars by pointing out the fradulent downtown Wyndham Hotel Study that was used to justify a $2 Million Dollar grant from the City of Greensboro to developers Milton Kern and George House. The Wyndham will not be built and the check will not be written.

I broke the stories that caused Mayor Robbie Perkins to lose reelection last year.

With the help of several friends we proved the City of Greensboro was lying about what took place at Heritage House and what is really going on is a land grab.

I took on the gangster Rocco Scarfone, owner of Ham's Restaurants and a partner along with city councilman Zack Matheny, Don Vaughan (husband of Mayor Nancy Vaughan) attorney Amil Rosaabi and former Mayor Robbie Perkins in the new Cone Denim Entertainment Center which houses Greensboro's House of Blues.

To date: none of these people have stood up to my charges. They don't dare.

broke the UNCG story a full 24 hours before the next media outlet picked up the story because like every other story we've covered here, innocent people were being hurt so that others could gain. 

I don't do this alone. I have others who help. We cross party lines and we are the opposition to Greensboro's status quo. And we always need more help

Over the years I've been accused of only wanting attention, seeking political office, having an agenda (though no one could ever say what) lying (no one ever proved me wrong) and being dangerous. (I have a clean criminal record.) I disarm my critics by making public things that people might try to use against me and challenge anyone to attempt to do so.

But I/we have failed to make Greensboro a better place to live. 

But that doesn't mean I don't believe it can't still be done. While I won't post our plan to the blog there is a way we can not only save the UNCG-3 but turn around an entire university campus and the City that enables Linda Brady and the Brady Bunch to do as they damned well please.

Step 1: Share this post with everyone you know.

Step 2: Get in touch.