Sunday, February 11, 2007


It is another bright, sunny winter Sunday. Spent yesterday at the memorial of my uncle. He fought the demons of addiction most of his life. Found out though, he had been sober for 13 years, and had even given up cigarettes for the past 3 months. The life he had endured is now over, I hope he rests in peace.

On to other things:
The local media is crucifying our community leaders over the "Google" incentives. I see this as more sour grapes than anything. Google gave the story to the local media first. The right thing to do. Now the media outlets in the larger cities are practicing yellow journalism and focusing their suppositions on negatives in payment for the scoop-snub. My opinion? There is no such thing as bad publicity. And no other international company has been knocking on any one's doors to get into this back-wood burg. The old guard has left town to the cheaper pastures in China. The only way to build a future is to focus on industries of the future. This company will make other companies look to this location. Their activity will bring in other industry and opportunities. The press has written about the people that sold their homes so the land can be used for the server farm. Yes, some of the homes were nice. But many were little more than tar-paper shacks. And everyone was paid more than market value. If they had tried to sell before, in this very depressed market, they would have sat on the market for months.
If this had been left up to some our our community leaders, it would never had made any news. They would still be searching for another "big brother" furniture manufacturer to come into town, hire illiterate high-school dropouts, pay them just enough to afford a 4-wheel drive truck, satellite dish and double-wide, and keep the status-quo. Well, now, the balance of power will shift. One of the Charlotte Observer's columnists said that Google needs computer guys and all Lenoir has is unemployed furniture workers. Boy is he mistaken! Their are many people in this area that are not only computer-literate, they are tech-savvy. And are very grateful for this opportunity to make a good living doing what they love in their hometown. This also means the unemployed furniture workers' children have a future and a reason to focus on education. The farm has not been given away. Google gets nothing if they do not build.
If they do build and hire educated employees, those better-paid people need houses, and schools, and retail, and cars, and entertainment. I am educated and have to drive over an hour each way to a job where I am paid to do what I love and am good at. I know I am not the only one to see the exponential growth and diversity that will occur. The great little retail shops in the downtown area will thrive (visit Luna Cycles, Sledgehammer Charlie's, Bernhardt-Seagle). More will come in. People will have a reason to stay. We won't have to drive to Hickory or Blowing Rock or Boone for dinner, shopping and fun. Others will come here. We can sell our houses for a profit. And buy new ones in the high-rent developments going up in Collettesville and Globe.
Keep things the way they are? Then in 10 years this will be a ghost town. Our children will leave for opportunities elsewhere never to return. Then some big conglomerate will move in, pay nothing and rape and pillage the area to their heart's content.
Have a nice day!

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