Neighborhood resident provides his side of robbery report

In the message below, neighborhood resident Boone Angel responds to the skepticism that followed his report of being robbed on Carr Street on October 10 (previously covered here and here). It contains considerably more information than the police say he gave them when they responded to what was originally a suspicious person call made by a Carr Street resident. Angel’s response, in full and unedited:

“Let me clear a few things up for you;

“At around 2:30 am Friday, October 10th 2014, my friend Justin & I were walking back from a friends apartment after retrieving my backpack I had left there earlier in the evening. Inside were my house & bicycle keys, a new laptop, a physics textbook, and pretty much everything else I needed for this semester at GTCC (I’m finishing an AAS in Electronics Engineering Technology this coming spring). All in all, almost $1000 worth of school supplies that I worked VERY hard for.

“While walking my friend halfway to his place, we passed a car parked almost horizontally in the road on Carr St (we, of course, were on the sidewalk). I said to my friend, “Nice fvckin’ parking job, geez”. The passenger overheard me, and said “what the fvck you say whiteboy”? I repeated my benign parking accolade; at which point both occupants exited the vehicle, and around this time their other passenger exited a house nearby and joined them in their approach. Realizing I was about to be jumped, I tucked my bag into a bush next to the sidewalk (to keep my laptop safe while I got my head kicked in). I began to yell as load as I could, “Help! Wake UP! Look Outside!”, to hopefully wake someone up to help me as I tried to find my phone and call the police (to no avail). After i began yelling all three ran towards me, and I ran as fast as I could away from them still trying to get the attention of anyone in earshot. At some point shortly after, they stopped chasing me and opted to grab my book-bag, and burned rubber. It all happened so fast, I’m not certain where my friend was. I remember turning around, not seeing him after the chase, and worried that maybe they had caught him and drug him into their car (a newer black dodge charger looking beast). He had split the opposite way during the chase, and was quite safe though. I ran down the street after the car screaming and shaking my fists. I still couldn’t find my phone which was located on the ground at the scene shortly later after police arrived.

“So NO, I wasn’t doing anything shady. All i did was joke, in conversational tone, not realizing anyone else was able to hear me, (the windows were super tinted & I thought no one was in the car at first) about a random car blocking the road, and some meat-head, drunk jerks decided they wanted to gang up on two guys that were obviously no match for them (these guys looked like football players or bouncers). For the past 5 years I have worked hard to slowly pay my way through college (yes there are grants, but it doesn’t pay many bills or put food in my stomach), and I do not appreciate your insinuation that I am some kind of delinquent troublemaker. Yes I was somewhat intoxicated, but I don’t need your permission to celebrate my birthday (late-Oct 6th) with a friend I’ve known for over 20 years. Yes I grew a pot plant when I was 18. I am a 30 year old, highly skilled, extremely motivated, up and coming embedded system engineer. Save your insults for the scum that deserve it, and not the victim of a senseless crime. Maybe if someone had just stepped outside and helped me, I wouldn’t be in this mess. It is my assailants AND the residents of Carr St that should be ashamed of themselves….NOT me. Oh, and that physics book? My new one arrived the day of my mid-term, and I STILL aced (that’s right 100%) the test. But I guess the world needs bloggers too….or whatever it is you do that makes you think you are useful.”

Posted in Carr Street, Public Safety | Comments Off

Demolition of stone retaining wall at 110 South Mendenhall St. to be considered Oct. 29 by Historic Preservation Commission

Retaining wall leaning toward sidewalk at 110 S. Mendenhall

View of the leaning granite wall along the front of 110 South Mendenhall Street

This month’s agenda for the Historic Preservation Commission includes a request to demolish the granite retaining wall along the sidewalk at 110 South Mendenhall Street. The wall has been leaning noticeably toward the street for years.

Property owner Bill Burkley excavated the dirt from behind the wall perhaps two or three years ago, leaving a trench behind the wall running more than 50 feet. Complaints from neighbors led to two zoning inspections this year. The first found no problem. At the request of neighbors, a second inspector visited the property and, according to the city’s Code Compliance Database (Case No. 201407576)  found:

“The stone retaining wall by the sidewalk is leaning over toward the sidewalk. Repair work was stared long ago and a large amount of dirt was removed from behind the wall. Then work stopped. In its current condition, the wall is a violation of 30-9-4 Fences and Walls 30-9-4.8 Maintenance Fences and walls must be maintained in a safe manner, plumb (vertical) to the ground. Fences or walls no longer maintained in a safe manner through neglect, lack of repair, manner of construction, method of placement, or otherwise must be repaired, replaced, or demolished. Failure to maintain a fence or wall in accordance with this section constitutes a violation of this ordinance. I have requested a title search and a NOV [Notice of Violation] has been sent. The remedy will require the property owner to complete the repairs to the retaining wall and comply with the historic district guidelines, or civil penalties can be assessed.”

Berkley’s response is to seek a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the wall. Retaining walls are covered in the City of Greensboro Historic District Program Manual in a section beginning on Page 24.

The application will be discussed at the College Hill Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting on Monday at 7 p.m., at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 South Mendenhall Street, in the Fellowship Hall. The HPC meeting will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Melvin Municipal Office Building, Plaza Level Conference Room.

Other College Hill items on the HPC agenda this month include three after-the-fact applications for exterior work done without a Certificate of Appropriateness:

  • 916 Walker Avenue – Matching fiber cement siding used to replace deteriorated wood siding
  • 921 Carr Street – Satellite dish installed on roof of house
  • 709 Walker Avenue – Construction of wheelchair ramp

Also on the agenda is an application for landscaping and site improvements at 817 Rankin Place.

Posted in Carr Street, Historic Preservation, Mendenhall Street, Walker Avenue | Comments Off

Airbnb location in College Hill apparently violates zoning

Screenshot from Airbnb websiteFrom The New York Times:

“Airbnb, the pioneering home rental service, presents itself as useful and virtuous, but the reality is far less benign, according to a report that Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, released on Thursday.

“The report will say nearly three-quarters of all Airbnb rentals in the city are illegal, violating zoning or other laws. … At least a handful of landlords are running what amount to illegal hostels.”

What’s interesting about this is that the one Airbnb rental in College Hill also appears to be violating zoning laws. The owners of 407 South Mendenhall are listing the house on Airbnb’s website as accommodating up to six visitors. The Greensboro Zoning Department says a Special Use Permit is required for the property to be used as a bed and breakfast, but no such permit has been issued for that property.

In addition, the house cannot legally be occupied by more than four unrelated individuals.

The Zoning Department has visited the house but apparently hasn’t taken any action yet. It will be interesting to see what they do.

Posted in Businesses, City Government, Mendenhall Street, Zoning | Comments Off

Was it a robbery on Carr Street? Or just a suspicious person?

A conversation with the helpful Greensboro police detective who’s investigating the report of a robbery last week on Carr Street left me with these impressions:

  • The police report was sketchy because the police haven’t figured out exactly what happened.
  • Regardless of whether the person reporting the robbery knew the supposed attackers (he told police he didn’t), it appears that if there was a robbery it maybe wasn’t a random incident. The police don’t think the neighborhood needs to worry about three men lurking in bushes, parked cars, moving cars or wherever these guys reportedly were, waiting to ambush anyone who happens by at 2 a.m.
  • The initial call was about a suspicious person. No one has said anything about a robbery except the guy who apparently was the suspicious person.
  • It’s really a shame the only other person present when police arrived says he was too drunk to remember anything.
Posted in Carr Street, Public Safety | Comments Off

Congratulations to the People’s Perk on their first year

 

View of The People's Perk from the street

People’s Perk at 551 South Mendenhall Street, right around the corner from Spring Garden Street

The People’s Perk coffee house on South Mendenhall Street is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend.  To mark the occasion, owners Karen
 Archia
 and 
Nancy 
Lenk will give a free piece of birthday cake with the purchase of any coffee beverage this Saturday, October 18, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

The Perk has provided stability to a storefront that has been home to a fast-moving succession of tenants, some of them pretty skanky, over the years. For that, we can all be grateful and wish them many more years of success.

They’ve also engaged the community in a more substantial and sustained way than almost any other neighborhood business I can recall.  Ms. Archia and Ms. Lenk sent out a first-anniversary news release (which shows more marketing sense and initiative than most start-ups can manage) that lists some of their efforts:

“In addition to coffee, espresso and locally‐made muffins, bagels and doughnuts, the People’s Perk also sells handmade goods and artwork on consignment, and provides wall space for artists to show their work on a rotating basis. …

“The People’s Perk has also hosted events including:

      • A book swap, where customers could exchange fiction and non‐fiction books
      • Cakalak Thunder’s pie auction fundraiser in support of its 10th anniversary
      • May 2013’s Queerluck, a monthly LGBTQ community potluck dinner
      • Three spoken word events, including the first Coraddi‐sponsored open mic reading this past September
      • Creative Aging Network’s Art Party fundraisers
      • An open meeting of the Greensboro Mural Project”

They’re good neighbors, and we’re glad they’re here. If you want engaged, home-grown businesses in College Hill and believe they add to the quality of life in the neighborhood, stop by and support this one.

Posted in Businesses, Mendenhall Street | Tagged | Comments Off

Greenway at last cleared to build along Greensboro College

Greenway mapIn case you missed it yesterday: The Downtown Greenway now has a green light to proceed with the section on the east edge of College Hill. That project will replace the railroad tracks along Greensboro College with a walking and biking trail as part of the four-mile greenway circling downtown.

This mile-long section has been blocked by the that one last, lonely train that rolls out to the Chandler Concrete Company on Battleground Avenue once every, what, six weeks? Six months? Chandler has sold the plant and is getting out of the way (thank you, Chandler Concrete!). Before the sale, it signed a restrictive covenant taking the tracks along its property permanently out of service (thanks, again!).

Dan Curry, longtime College Hill homeowner and former manager in community development with the City of Greensboro, on what this means for the neighborhood:

“This project can have big-time economic benefits to neighborhood property owners, as has been seen in other parts of the greenway. It also will require some creative thinking about how to handle street crossings at West Market Street, McGee Street, Cedar Street and Spring Garden Street and how those crossings play into our current efforts to slow traffic and create a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

“I am sure many of us will be ready to participate in the planning and design process as it unfolds. Likely we will also need to participate in planning for the artwork and themes of this section and how it can celebrate the history of College Hill. As I assume the funds are not yet raised for this section, we will also need to be ready to support the fundraising program to ensue that this section can be designed and built as quickly as possible.

“Perhaps at one of the next neighborhood meetings we can discuss an appropriate statement of support from the neighborhood for this upcoming major initiative.”

Posted in Downtown Greenway | Comments Off

Robbery reported on Carr Street; circumstances unclear

A man was robbed early Friday outside 933 Carr Street. Reports on the incident from the police and newspaper raise more questions than they answer.

A conspicuously vague Greensboro police report (PDF) says that Boone Aaron Angel, 30 (this Boone Aaron Angel?) was robbed at 2:15 a.m. by three men in front of 933 Carr:

“ON 10/10/2014 AT 0222 HOURS , I RESPONDED TO THE 900 BLK OF CARR ST IN REFERENCE TO A ROBBERY OF INDIVIDUAL CALL. UPON MY ARRIVAL I MET WITH THE COMPLAINANT, WHO ADVISED THAT HE WAS APPROACHED BY TWO BLACK MALES IN A VEHICLE AND A THIRD FROM A HOUSE ON CARR ST. ON 10/10/2014 A ROBBERY OF AN INDIVIDUAL OCCURRED.

“THIS INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING AT THIS TIME”

That’s the entire, rather oddly structured narrative section of the report. Angel’s address is listed as an apartment on South Mendenhall Street, about three blocks from where the incident occurred. The report indicates that the robbers were strangers.

There is nothing entered in sections of the report for information on the property stolen or the suspects.

The report lists a second person as being “involved”; there’s nothing in the report to indicate what he was doing there. He’s not listed as a witness or a suspect, and the report seems to indicate he wasn’t robbed. The address listed for him is on Spring Street.

The News & Record gave this account, written from a police news release:

“Officers responded at 2:24 a.m. to reports of a suspicious man at 928 Carr St., according to the release. When they arrived, police found the victim, who told them he was assaulted and robbed, investigators said.”

The police report doesn’t say that Angel was assaulted or that he said he was.

Neither account gives any indication of what Angel was doing at the time (was he coming out of or going into a house, just walking down the street?). Nothing about why one man was robbed and the other wasn’t (if he was actually present at the time), or whether the police have any reason to think Angel was specifically targeted, particularly considering his apparent status as a two-time drug felon (which also raises the question of what was actually taken from him). Or the circumstances surrounding the robber who came “from” a house — from inside or outside and what house was it?

It’s also interesting that there’s no indication that the robbers were armed, what kind of vehicle was used or whether it was moving or parked (a particularly interesting question since one attacker was apparently lying in wait).

And was it a robbery call, as the police report says, or was it a suspicious person call, as the police news release says, according to the newspaper. It may be irrelevant, but it’s odd that the relatively few details the police put into the report and into the news release apparently don’t all agree with each other.

It’s anyone’s guess what all this adds up to, what actually happened and whether there’s anything for the neighborhood to be worried about. Were there three robbers waiting to ambush random strangers or three guys out to get this particular individual? That’s a detail worth knowing. We’ve emailed the police for more information.

As of early Tuesday morning, no arrest had been reported in the online police database. The case number is 20141010040.

Posted in Carr Street, Mendenhall Street, Public Safety | Comments Off

“Rumi by Candelight” at Church of the Covenant on Friday

This Friday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. is the annual “Rumi By Candlelight” event at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 501 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro. Tickets are available at the door.

Poet and performance artist Adrian Vyner-Brooks reunites with Will Ridenour (Kora – African harp), Betsy Bevan (piano), Meredith Holladay (vocals) and special guest Daniel Chambo (Bansuri – Indian flute) for a collective performance of the ecstatic poetry by Rumi, an ancient mystic, against the back drop of their original music.

To learn more visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/879496

 

Posted in Events, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant | Comments Off

Help GSO Improve: Better Block Greensboro

BETTER BLOCK GREENSBORO
On Friday, Oct. 10, from 5 to 9 p.m. ArtsGreensboro, Action Greensboro, NC Bike Summit, PART plus others are working on a demonstration project in Hamburger Square, downtown next to Natty Greene’s. The event is called Better Block Greensboro.

The goal is to transform the area at McGee/Elm/Davie/MLK into a true public square, activating the grassy areas and calming traffic movement. They will test a number of ideas that could be incorporated into more permanent streetscape improvements and public art. The group wants to illustrate the value of more permanent locations where planned and unplanned music and dance performance could occur in downtown/Hamburger Square by introducing movable seating and trying out some temporary stages. The Hamburger Square area should always be inviting for buskers and other performances, rather than sitting as a sleepy gap in the middle of South Elm Street!

This free event is relevant to our College Hill efforts.

College Hill Joe Wheby will be assisting Preservation Greensboro with their display at the Cascade Saloon, so stop by and say hi!

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1546140095615372/

betterblock_11x17poster_final-01

Better Block Greensboro

Posted in Events, McGee Street | Comments Off

Thanks to All Involved in College Hill Clean Up

College Hill Clean Up Oct 2014

Thanks to everyone who helped with the College Hill Clean Up on Saturday, Oct. 4. Participants cleaned up a lot of litter and did some general sprucing up.

Kudos to Virginia Haskett for doing a great job organizing this effort.

Thanks to Pat and Clara Kelly for donating recycling bags. Many thanks also to local businesses on Tate Street (listed below) that contributed food and give-a-ways and to the Church of the Covenant for our meeting space and use of their dumpster. The next time you visit any of these businesses, please tell them how much we appreciate their contributions.

Tate Street Contributors to the College Hill Clean Up
Coffeeology
College Mart
Chipotle
East Coast Wings
Jimmy John’s

Manhattan Subs and Pizza 

Posted in Events, Neighborhood Association, Uncategorized | Comments Off