Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bliadhna mhath ur!

In the name of my people, Happy New Year!

Family Appeal to Hostage Takers..

The British Foreign office website posted a very short but real message from the families of the four hostages. American Tom Fox, and others part of a Christian Peacemaking Team have yet to be released.

Sunflower Valley: The Tao of Bob

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Bob "The Builder" won the contest for best development plan for Sunflower Valley this morning. Bob, using the concepts of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" won the event over several major development firms.

These kinds of sustainable development concepts are beginning to take hold with PBS kids. As the Triad area moves toward more regionalism, new collaborative groups can learn from "The Tao of Bob".

Bob is shown above with the ATV four wheeler 1st place prize!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Buying a Home? NC Title Insurance Real Estate Closing Costs fare well

Title Insurance and Real Estate Closing Costs show that NC has some of the least expensive title insurance premium rates ($439) to most expensive NY ($1451). On real estate closing costs, NC ranked 43 out of 51 ($2441) to most expensive NY ($3907).

If I could only have to pay for the title insurance and closing costs I'd have it made.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

John Parker has a Blog!

One of the most progressive thinkers in North Carolina has started a blog.

John Parker.

Many of you may remember John from his days at the Greensboro office of the Self-Help Credit Union in Greensboro.

John is now the Executive Director of Good Work located in Durham. They focus on leadership and organizational development along with community and economic development. He's doing great work in Eastern NC!

This one deserves a link up! Good Luck John....

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Congrats to Judge Catherine Eagles

She is taking over the most senior judge post from Judge Albright. She'll do a great job and wish her all the best. She's got a great disposition and she's a real leader on the bench. Glad to be in the same courthouse with her!

Best wishes Judge Eagles!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Coming to America..

Barack Obama (D) and Mel Martinez (R) write a piece for the Wall Street Journal on Immigration Reform. Guest worker programs, tighter security with improved technology, earned citizenship and limited citizenship status, and respect of rule of law. Good common sense approach.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! and Read Rev. Julie Peeples!

Rev. Julie Peeples has a great op-ed piece in the News and Record!

There's no link up right now to the piece, but this is my #1 gift for all today!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Toward a Moral Budget....

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U.S. Capitol Police arrested 115 religious activists for civil disobedience in response to House Republican budget plan's cuts in social programs when they refused to clear the entrance to a congressional office building Wednesday, December 14th.

"These are political choices being made that are hurting low-income people," said Jim Wallis, the event's organizer and founder of the Christian ministry group Sojourners. "Don't make them the brunt of your deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility." Wallis called the House budget plan, which would produce $50 billion in savings over five years, "the real Christmas scandal," a reference to a campaign by some conservative Christian groups against the greeting "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

Wallis, who was arrested, said the group had little complaint with a more modest Senate plan.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Public input for Computer System!

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We hope to make a decision between Aptitude Solutions and Business Information Systems (BIS) by February! Picture's from the Public User portion of Vendor Demonstrations.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

DSS Bait and Tackle Shop!

I heard from John Shore, Guilford County DSS Director that low-income residents who cannot afford to purchase fishing will be able to get them from Social Service offices across NC as a result of the changes to the coastal recreational fishing license law. Being from Pender County, we just go fishing....but not anymore.

North Carolina has been the only state on the Southeast coast without a recreational license. Freshwater and commercial saltwater fishermen already must get licenses. Proceeds from the new coastal recreational licenses would go to grants to improve marine resources. Many believe the measure will benefit coastal fishing stocks in the long run.

The annual coastal license would cost $15 a year for residents and $5 for short-term permits. The new unified permit would cost $35 and would increase to $55 if the permit applicant also wanted to hunt. Children under 16 also would be exempt and poor anglers could possibly get free licenses.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lab Mice Grow Human Brain Cells...

Fox News reports that lab mice grow human brain cells. Something about this is really creepy...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Of Flags and Fumbles...

Wallace Rose Hill took a commanding lead at halftime 20-7. Thomasville came back to win 21-20. Both teams were Bull Dogs! Wallace fumbled three out of first four possessions in second half. The whole town of Thomasville turned out and they pulled it out. Tough loss.

One thing is for sure, there will be a Holley in the State Championship again and I"ll be there to root them on....

Beast of the East: Wallace Rose Hill Bulldogs!

Trying to get to Groves Stadium to catch the 1 AA State Football Championship!

Coach Jack Holley and Assistant Coach Battle Holley seeking to bring the Title Home for the Dogs! Coach Holley is a Guilford College Alumnus and Battle and I played baseball together.

They lost to Thomasville due to a fumble late in the game last year. Both teams are 15-0 going into the game.


Tom Fox

Please keep Tom Fox, his family, and Christian Peacemakers in your prayers today....

Friday, December 09, 2005

Aptitude Solutions and Business Information Systems (BIS) are Finalists!

After 4 days of 7 hour vendor demonstrations on Register of Deeds computer software packages this past week, the ROD committee for a new computer system made a decision to narrow the field to two.

Aptitude Solutions and Business Information Systems (BIS) were selected as finalists. The committee, comprised of 16 ROD and county department staff will work over the next 6 weeks and expects to make a decision by the end of January or early February.

Congratulations to these two software providers and we look forward to giving them further consideration!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


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Great news in the game of baseball! Tony Womack was traded today to the Cincinnati Reds. Tony becomes a great fit for a team that needs his speed and experience in the infield. And leaves behind an unappreciative, over paid on a power trip ball club. (Except for Gary Sheffield and great fan Paul Coscia!)

This move topped a frustrating year for both Womack and Thigpen. It was painful to see Tony shuffled around then lost in the Yankee Deck. Painful year for Thigpen because Tony is carrying the tradition of the 1992 and 1993 "Fighting Quaker" 30 Win Record Guilford College Baseball club. I tried to pull for the Yankees and their is evidence on this very blog, but Cincinnati is the right fit for both of us! As you will see.

I was a Pete Rose, George Foster, Tony Perez, Davey Concepcion, Johnny Bench kind of Cincinnati Red fan growing up and lost my way for many different reasons. This will be a good move for both Tony and me. So I have no problem picking up my fanship of the Reds.

As "self-proclaimed" President of the Tony Womack Fan Club, I congratulate my friend Tony on this move and want the people of Cincinnati to know you've just gotten some HEART in the clubhouse!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Most Popular Governor in America!

Gov. Easley comes in middle of the pack according to Angus Reid Consulting.

#1 Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell
#50 Ohio Gov. Bob Taft

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Holiday Tree, Oh let's talk about something that really matters!

Trees have been transplanted over the past month in homes across America--including my own and it looks nice. The Mayor of Boston flip-flops! Interesting to see Bill O' Reilly defend the Christmas Tree. Then NBC has Tucker Carlson discuss how the Christian Right is seeking to reclaim the "Christmas" tree from the Holiday fanatics. By not calling it a Christmas tree, the Liberty Counsel has threatened to sue over the secularization of Christmas. Excuse me?

I had to think about what I always called the tree. To express my Christian virility, I must say.. I say "Christmas Tree". But I've never held any deep seated spiritual insecurities for those who prefer calling it a holiday tree. And I must admit, I've slipped, and said holiday tree every now and again. Not to forget my faith, but to just acknowledge that I respect these are holidays.

The most interesting thing is the Christmas tree is a custom, or tradition- started by the Germans of all folks. If you don't believe me, just check out the History Channel. They also have some rather pagan connotations related to greenery this time of year. Can someone show me which purity law says following Jesus means I must have a Christmas Tree, Holiday Tree, or any TREE?!? Or defend it to the death?

Don't get me wrong, but this debate about the Christmas tree seems a bit petty. What then is the position on Jesus verses Santa Claus? The tree competes for these icons! While I'm all about presents, what about the fervor with Black Eyes on Black Friday? The commercial nature of the season surrounds the Christmas Tree or any afore named tree.

I'd prefer to celebrate my faith and know this is truly a special time of the year that calls on us to a greater humanity in the name of our collective faith traditions.

Julie Polter says it better than I can, on waiting and hope reference Old and New Testaments.

Identity Theft Legislation: A Good Beginning....More Needs to be Done!

I've been doing the rounds over the past few weeks talking about the Identity Theft Legislation. I'll be blogging more about it in the next few weeks. I truly appreciate all those involved in making something happen. While I'm glad some action has been taken, more work is needed and the public should not get a false sense of security.

In my opinion, the legislation will get at about 1% of the problem. The burden is squarely on the individual to do all the work to get their information redacted, and the elephant in the room are NC Public Records Laws as they relate to the safeguarding personal information as defined in the Identity Theft Legislation. In essence, what tools could officials like Register of Deeds have to proactively "kick butt" by finding the data and helping citizens without potential liability? (Like in some other states like Indiana, Washington, and Florida).

If the SSN is a crowbar for thieves to get personal information, our office is a hardware store. WE NEED TO DO MORE! I don't think the solution is just taking our internet records offline because thousands of law abiding citizens use them for the public good. But I need some more authority!

I'm calling on the Governor, Attorney General, General Assembly and who ever is create an NC Committee on Public Records and Privacy similar to the Committee on Court Records and Privacy in Florida. The Committee should have a number of public and private representatives to come up with recommendations help preserve the integrity of public records law, but give us authority to protect citizens private information in a more practical way.

I have more recommendations to come!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Madam Chair Carolyn Coleman and Vice-Chairman Steve Arnold!

This will be the story everyone will be talking about tomorrow!

I want to congratulate them both. I know to some that might sound odd. Congratulations to Steve Arnold? Well, I'll just say when you are a commissioner, there is enough trouble to go around for everybody. I wish him well and all the members.

For Carolyn, this is a special honor. She has been on the board for some time now. She's intelligent, savy, and will do a great job if the Board can come together.

In addition, she'll become the first African American Female to become Chair of the Board of Commissioners. While Steve is surely as Republican as they get, he's a smart guy and hope they can work together.

Good luck to them both.