Comment and analysis on all things CharlotteRSS

Sunday, September, 21 2014

People and the bears of Asheville

N.C. State University and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission scientists are studying the bear population in Asheville and, as the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, have come up with some interesting findings. It turns out that brown bears are basically everywhere in Asheville. And how are city residents handling having these large mammals as their neighbors? Better than […]

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The changing world of video

Over the past decade, Netflix pretty much killed off the video store. Now streaming video is suppose to be the next big thing and is turning Netflix’s DVD business into an endangered species. So this should be a good time for lovers of more obscure movies, right? Absolutely not. Jon Brooks of KQED in San […]

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Bigger Aircraft Will Shake Up Local Aviation

Got a column out for Carolina Journal on some changes in the airline industry. Here’s it is in it’s entirety: CHARLOTTE — Local business leaders, economic development types, and government officials reflexively think of air service in terms of the number of flights handled by their airports daily. For most North Carolina airports, that number […]

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Missing: A whole lot of water

If sighted, please contact the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department at 311. Seems that CMUD is losing a lot of water somewhere in eastern or southeastern Mecklenburg County, but even after looking for a day, CMUD crews haven’t been able to find the location of the leak. Which probably means that a large sinkhole will develop along […]

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Patrick Cannon’s sentencing posponed

To October 14, so that a New York psychiatrist can testify on his behalf, which adds another ring or two to the media circus that will exist when Cannon finally finds out how long he will have to spend in prison. The main question remains whether Charlotte citizens will get any real closure at that […]

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Charlotte's Greatest Hits

Black got sweetheart deal

As jailed former state House Speaker Jim Black mounts a campaign for early release, critics contend that the state justice system did favors for Black regarding the settlement of his $1 million fine.

Questions about Black settlement

Wake County officials say imprisoned former House Speaker Jim Black satisfied a $1 million fine by surrendering some Mecklenburg County real estate, but questions remain about the real market value of the property.

Black settlement may not add up

Imprisoned former House Speaker Jim Black used undeveloped land with a tax value of less than $150,000 to pay off an outstanding $500,000 state fine.

Fat CATS

Colleen Calvani writes that the Charlotte Area Transit system will scale back some routes in an attempt to counter three major decreases in funding.

McCrory’s failure

Jeff Taylor argues that Pat McCrory failed to carry Mecklenburg County because he failed to move its conservatives.

Lynx And Exploding Pipes

Jeff Taylor says there may be another factor to blame for CMUD’s recent series of water leaks.

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Research

By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2012

The economic recession that hit full force in 2008 was declared officially over in June 2009 when the country experienced two quarters of very slow growth. But a troubled housing sector and a still-sluggish economy with high unemployment have contributed to the fiscal crises facing many cities and counties in North Carolina. As always, this edition of By the Numbers is must reading for government officials and taxpayers alike. It highlights what kinds of fiscal problems face local governments in an economy that grows only very slowly. With the facts given here, county commissioners and city council members can easily compare their area’s tax burden to similarly situated cities or counties. For taxpayers, BTN is a starting point for questions about taxes and spending, enabling them to hold their elected and appointed officials accountable.

Agenda 2014: A Candidate's Guide to Key Issues in North Carolina Public Policy

Every two years since 1996, coinciding with North Carolina's races for the General Assembly, the John Locke Foundation has published a revised edition of Agenda, our public policy guide for candidates and voters. Typically as we enter the campaign season, candidates for public office in North Carolina are faced with a daunting task: to develop informed positions on dozens of public policy issues. In the pages of Agenda 2014 we provide a concise and easily digestible guide covering a wide range of specific issues, from taxes and spending to energy policy and education.

City and County Issue Guide 2014

Policymakers in the many local governments of North Carolina face a host of important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems that confront North Carolinians at municipal and county levels. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians and keep open avenues to innovative solutions from enterprising citizens.

Carolina Cronyism: Introduction, Overview, and Reforms

Cronyism is an umbrella term covering a host of government activities by which an industry or even a single firm or speculator is given favors and support that they could not attain in market competition. This report explains what opens government to cronyism, gives a brief rundown of recent examples of cronyism in North Carolina, and offers several possible reforms.

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