“I do not think it right either to keep the truth concealed or allow falsehood to pass.”
– BoethiusThat is the reason for what we do-- nothing more nothing less. We have no agenda other than truth and real progress which can only be achieved in truth. That's what scares them so. Sometimes we make mistakes and yes we have regrets but in the end we find and publish the truth to the dismay of those who criticize us and the fear of those who stand in our way-- those who stand in the way of truth and real progress. We are liberal, conservative, religious, non religious, Christan, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Deist, Democrat, Republican, Socialist, you name it, all gathered together to expose the truth in Greensboro politics believing that if we can change just 1 city, Greensboro, North Carolina, for the better, and rise above the partisan and religious divides to meet our true enemy, corruption, then one by one, city after city the world will follow. Honesty over ideology is our motto and our pursuit.
We hope you'll join us in our quest for truth and real progress.
From left: Sharon Hightower, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Tony Wilkins,
Zack Matheny, Nancy Vaughan, Yvonne Johnson,
Mike Barber, Jamal Fox, Nancy Hoffmann.
Downtown Wyndham Hotel
Remember the $2 Million Dollar incentive grant the Greensboro City Council approved in January 2014 to build the Downtown Wyndham Hotel? Have you wondered why construction hasn't started almost a year later? You can thank the team here at EzGreensboro.com for pointing out the fact that the incentive grant was based on a fraudulent feasibility study the developers, Milton Kern, Randal Kaplan and George House and City officials wanted to keep hidden.
Regretfully no one went to jail for their crimes but we saved Greensboro taxpayers $2 Million Dollars. When the owner of the Downtown Marriot-- built without incentives-- read our blog posts his attorney contacted the City of Greensboro explaining the Marriot would be suing because of the layoffs caused by incentives based on a fraudulent feasibility study should the incentive grants actually be paid. The downtown Wyndham Hotel quietly went away and until Kern, Kaplan and House can find another means of funding will remain so.
Zack's Text Messages
Want to know why Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny couldn't get past the primaries to get elected to Congress? Some of it had to do with the fact that Zack has a problem with telling the truth as was shown in Zack Matheny's Wyndham Text Messages. Zack lied about when he left to go to Washington, DC to explain away his attendance at a party celebrating the passing of the resolution granting $2 Million in incentives to the Wyndham Hotel but Zack could never explain it away and political operatives across the state quietly spread the news.
What made the story even more amazing was that Zack voted against the incentive package even though it was Zack who brought the resolution before Council. When was the last time you heard of a politician voting against himself?
Zack would return before the end of the year to commit political suicide.
Rocky Scarfone, Greensboro's Dumbest Gangster?
Rocky Scarfone was another who was critical of seeing the truth being posted online for others to see so in February he hired lawyers to sue me. Did I back down, take what I had previously written about Rocco Carmine Scarfone off the Internet? Hell no, I posted 13 chapters more and continue digging up dirt about Rocky Scarfone and his relationships to Mayor Vaughan and Greensboro City Council until this day. You see, Rocky, it was an older and wiser Greensboro Mafia boss who taught me as a young man to never threaten a man who has nothing to lose.
Yvonne Johnson, Failure To Disclose
A lot was make of Mayor Vaughan's new disclosure requirement for City Council and it passed 9 to 0 but just as I warned it didn't go far enough and no sooner were the new disclosure forms filled out when we discovered in April that Councilwoman Mayor Pro Temp Yvonne Johnson had failed to disclose City funding to the non profit she founded and runs until this day. You see, they really don't want us to know how much money they take from us but they are all too quick to criticize the messenger.
The Yvonne And Walter Johnson Saga
Yvonne Johnson was back in early May when we published the The Yvonne And Walter Johnson Saga , a 12 part series that detailed how Yvonne, her husband Walter and daughter Lisa Johnson-Tonkins all profited from Walter Johnson's stealing from his mostly poor law clients and their families without ever giving back anything in restitution or serving any penalties for having stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars and prompting previously unknown victims like Charlotte's Cherie (prounced Sherrie) Chandler to finally speak out about what was done to her:
"Add my name to the list of clients he neglected. I paid $700 and the state would not allow me to file against him. He took money for my civil case and did nothing with it. I only met the man one time when he put his manipulative office assistant to handle my case. She should be banned as well for working in any law firm. I pray he never practices law again. He is tainted my trust in lawyers. May he never practice again! As for his family, have mercy on them! I hope they make a name for themselves away from him."
And you wonder why rumors abound that Yvonne has said she won't run for reelection? If enough of you share this post with everyone you know we'll turn over the majority of Council in 2015. Everything is documented, everything is true.
Mike Barber Pockets Donations
It was also in May that we discovered that Greensboro City Councilman Mike Barber, an attorney, had failed to note $81,000 in donations to First Tee of the Triad, a non profit Mr Barber runs and has admitted to personally filling out the taxes for. Where did the money go? Seven months later and Mr Barber has yet to tell us.
Of course, some will say the fact that the media hasn't picked up on the story is proof of Barber's innocence but others contend local media is complicit in the fraud as the source of Mr Barber's money, the Wyndham Championship, is a huge money maker for all our local media outlets. You decide, the documents are all there for your inspection.
Nancy Hoffmann Can't Launder Fast Enough
It was in June that local bloggers Ben Holder and Roch Smith Jr started in on Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann but we here at EzGreensboro had been on Ms Hoffman and her business partners, Nick Piornack and Jim Budd for over a year by that time. As usual, the competition was late to the game. The $200,000 they stole has never been returned and Councilwoman Hoffman has managed to be found to be behind one fraud or another almost once a month for the last year
beginning with her failure to disclose.
In July the Heritage House saga was all over the news. We made a lot of mistakes in the course of reporting that one but still provided the most complete coverage available anywhere. Some things I found interesting are that despite all the allegations, Sonny Vestal was never charged with any crimes and Charles Coffey is said to have been fired from his job at Industries of the Blind.
And the media never once commented on the fact that the Heritage House Homeowners Association has the exact same address on its checks as does a property management business, Association Management Group, owned by Don Vaughan's business partner, Paul Mengert, which happens to be in the same building as Don Vaughan's legal office. And for those who might not know, Don is married to Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan.
It's been 6 months, some of the Heritage House refugees are homeless, the City of Greensboro has acknowledged they have no case files on any of the refugees and City Council has yet to pay them for the properties stolen by the City of Greensboro in what has proven to be nothing more than a land grab based on lies and deceit that we here at EzGreensboro.com uncovered when no one else would.
When will homeless people be paid for the homes which were stolen from them by the City of Greensboro? Why is City Council afraid to act on this issue? Why did Nancy Vaughan, Mike Barber and Zack Matheny lead the fight to close Heritage House when everything they claimed to be true about Heritage House was proven to be lies or the fault of the City of Greensboro and not the homeowners at Heritage House. Even Greensboro building inspectors questioned the one water meter for the entire building at the time of the retrofit in 2008 but their opinions were overruled.
Sorry, I can't tell you the names of the building inspectors I spoke with as they fear losing their jobs as City employees were ordered in 2014 not to talk to anyone outside the City by none other than City Manager Jim Westmoreland himself.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan's Poverty Summit
In September Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan hosted a poverty summit with Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and other North Carolina mayors to figure out a plan to deal with Greensboro' out of control poverty. She promised a second poverty summit by the end of the year. It took place in December but wasn't covered by the media so we have no idea of what took place there or if a workable plan was ever developed. But just in case our Mayor remains clueless we published How To Bring Greensboro Out Of Poverty only a few days after the Mayor's first conference. While she was talking we were doing.
The UNCG 3
It was on September 29 that EzGreensboro team member
In 1982 Greensboro, North Carolina was rated as the #1 best place to live in America. In the years following everything went to hell. For 2015, Liveability.com ranked Greensboro at #91 but in 2008 CNN Money rated Greensboro at #50-- what happened? 41 places in 7 years-- how could any city fall so quickly? What the hell happened to Greensboro? Our corrupt and inept "leaders" will tell you it was a result of the Recession but the Recession was nationwide, worldwide even. So to explain to you what actually took place, in December we published Merry Christmas From The City Of Greensboro: Proof Greensboro Sucks, the most horrid list of things gone wrong in one city you have ever read. And not one natural disaster.
Zack's Political Suicide
It's one thing when a politician lies to cover his tracks. It's another thing when a politician steals. But when a politician violates his oath of office and tramples on the Constitutional rights of free speech simply because said politician is uncomfortable with his constituents knowing of his ties to organized crime? Well, my friends, in North Carolina that is considered a crime punishable by removal from office. I give you Sue Me Zack, You Haven't Got The Balls!
George Hartzman To The Rescue!
How about a plan that saves taxpayers $125 per year for each and every one of the 2.780 employees who are employed by the City of Greensboro while at the same time puts another $12,634 in the retirement accounts of those same said city workers? As George writes in the News & Record the plan already exists but City Manager Jim Westmoreland and Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue are refusing to implement the plan. George doesn't say it but I've heard it said that Westmoreland and Vigue are receiving some sort of special compensation for not changing companies. Perhaps they'd like to expand?
Are We There Yet?
Sorry, not quite, 2014 isn't quite over, not before I make mention of our last minute stories 908 Highland Avenue, The House That Haunted Greensboro by yours truly and A Cautionary Tale by Ms Jackie Billeci. The first is the story of Bulent Bediz, a man unfairly persecuted and prosecuted by Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan for doing what is best for his neighborhood and the second, as the title suggests, questions the wisdom of floating a bond referendum to pay to build a downtown UNCG nursing school when in-fact UNCG has new empty buildings larger than the proposed school at other locations.
Sharon, Marikay, Tony and Jamal
So what about the rest of the Greensboro City Council? What about Sharon Hightower, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Tony Wilkins and Jamal Fox? Yeah, we covered every story they were involved in but so did everyone else. Sometimes they were spectacular though truth be told their performances were not always spectacular and we here at EzGreensboro often disagreed with their decisions but less than spectacular performances and decisions we don't like are allowed. Politicians are supposed to do what they believe is best for the community and as far as I can tell despite my many disagreements with the 4 of them their decisions-- no matter how boneheaded I called them at the time-- were made with the belief they were doing the right thing. History will show that in some instances I was right and in other instances they were right.
But never, despite many accusations from many different people was I ever provided with enough evidence to make me believe either of the 4 of them have broken any laws or crossed any ethical boundaries. I hounded them enough to know. And you can damned well be sure that should we catch them we'll tell you about it. I'm a hard man when you're in the right, I'm a nightmare when you're in the wrong-- just ask Sharon, Marikay, Tony and Jamal.
Now For The Good News
Actually you just read it: 4 of 9 members of the Greensboro City Council were not involved in scandal in 2014. Fact is: 2014 brought us the most failed city council that I can remember in my 58 and 1/2 years of living in Greensboro. Oh sure, the City of Greensboro PR (Propaganda Relations) Department released plenty of press releases touting lots of "good news" but none of the good news actually came to fruition. Don't believe me? Leave a comment below, e-mail me RecycleBill@gmail.com or contact me via Facebook and tell me what you think the Greensboro City Council did right in 2014. The team at EzGreensboro.com will tell you what City Council doesn't want you to know about it.
Here at EzGreensboro.com we don't just blog the news and spout off opinion, we investigate and make the news happen. We break stories, put forth ideas, cover stories in more depth than the media, we uncover the truth and ask the questions people don't like to answer. For those are the questions to which the answers bring real truth.
It's my hope that 2015 will bring more writers to EzGreensboro and that I will be free to spend more time on other pursuits of a more personal but worthwhile nature. While not going into detail what I've got in mind will benefit my own impoverished Greensboro neighborhood and lift up all of Greensboro while doing things I actually love to do. For you see, this has never been what I wanted to do. Some of you already know what it is, for those who don't, more on that in a future post.
Happy New Year, Greensboro, it's time for a change. It's time for truth and real progress. Demand truth and real progress.